Pregnancy is one of the major causes of varicose veins. The combination of hormonal changes, increased blood volume, and changes in the way the blood flows through the body during pregnancy make it more likely for many women to develop a problem with their veins. Although for some women, varicose veins will only be a cosmetic issue, others might develop more serious problems from them, such as inflammation or leg ulcers. Find out how you can keep your legs and veins healthy throughout pregnancy.
Preventing Varicose Veins During Pregnancy
Unless your doctor specifically tells you to stay in bed or to avoid physical activity during your pregnancy, a bit of light exercise can be an effective way to keep your veins healthy. Exercise, such as going for a walk, will help prevent blood pooling in your legs by increasing blood flow out of your legs.
Along with light exercise, frequent movement during the day can also help minimize your chances of developing varicose veins during pregnancy or can keep your vein problem from becoming worse. If your job requires a lot of sitting, get up and take a walk around the office every hour or so. If you need to stand all day, remember to change your position or take a short walk every so often because your calf muscle contractions actually push blood out of your legs.
Keep the Legs Elevated
Sitting down and putting your feet up can also help keep your varicose veins in check when you’re pregnant. Elevating your legs above your heart level can help increase blood flow. If you can, put an ottoman or stool by your office chair or by the couch or chair you sit in at home.
Monitor Weight Gain
Weight gain is a part of pregnancy, but it’s still important to make sure you don’t put on too much extra weight. Your doctor can let you know how many pounds are safe to put on, and how much extra weight can increase your risk for certain issues, including vein problems.
Excess weight puts more pressure on your legs and veins and makes it even more difficult for the blood to pump upwards. The increased pressure can damage the valves of your veins.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
Clothes that are binding and high heels can be particularly unpleasant to wear when you’re pregnant. They can also make any varicose veins that develop worse. You don’t have to limit yourself to sweats and sneakers during your pregnancy, but it is important to avoid any clothes that are particularly tight. High heels can prevent your calf muscles from contracting and make it difficult for the blood to pump up to your heart.
While you do want to choose looser fitting clothing during pregnancy, there’s one exception. That’s graduated compression stockings, which can help the veins pump blood effectively.
If you are concerned about varicose veins during pregnancy or about treating vein disease after pregnancy, contact Vein911 to schedule a free consultation today.