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Dealing With Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

woman sitting on ledgeIn addition to back pain, heartburn and morning sickness as some of the many unpleasant things women experience during pregnancy, there’s another one: varicose veins. Those unsightly bulging blood vessels are mainly found in the legs, but they can surface elsewhere in the lower region of the body. Not every pregnant woman will experience varicose veins but if you do, there are some tips to try that may help:

  • Put those feet up. Get off your feet whenever possible, and elevate your legs. When your feet are positioned above your hips blood can flow better. When you stand, try putting one foot on a low stool and alternate legs.
  • Get moving. Exercise, of course, is one of the best ways to keep the blood flowing in your legs. Walking, indoor cycling and swimming are some excellent exercise choices that can boost circulation.
  • Dress comfortably. For maximum comfort during pregnancy, you want the least restriction possible. Wear clothing, including underwear, that isn’t constraining but that fits well. Don’t wear belts that are too body-hugging or socks with tight elastic tops. Though they may not be fashionable, low-heeled, more sensible shoes versus tight-fitting ones or sky-high heels are the way to go.
  • Wear compression socks. This is one tight type of clothing that may be useful in minimising varicose veins. These stockings can provide some relief from your varicose veins by applying some pressure to stimulate blood circulation.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. While you may be tempted to eat for two and sneak in extra goodies during pregnancy, it’s essential to follow your physician’s recommendations for weight gain—typically 25 to 35 pounds. Carrying extra weight taxes your already overburdened circulatory system.
  • Snooze on your left side. This sleep position increases the amount of blood and nutrients to reach the placenta and your baby. You also can avoid putting pressure on your main blood vessels and maintain circulation.
  • Avoid straining. Though constipation is common during pregnancy, it’s important to refrain from straining as doing so can result in hemorrhoids, which are rectal varicose veins.

In most cases your varicose veins will likely diminish or disappear after pregnancy. If you are expecting and concerned about your varicose veins, contact our practice today to schedule an appointment.

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