By Sheila Dwyer, Veins1 Staff During pregnancy, a woman’s body changes. Most of these changes are for the better: her hair becomes thicker and shinier; her skin has a new pink glow. But for an estimated 40 percent of pregnant women, the unwelcome appearance of varicose veins is one change they would rather do without.
The function of your veins is to return blood back to your heart. If your valves become weakened or damaged, excess blood can collect at the bottom of your leg and cause a tired, aching feeling. Over time, increased pressure from the poor circulation enlarges the veins, resulting in varicose veins.
During pregnancy, you will experience greater blood flow to and from the womb. Your hormones may cause your vein walls to relax and stretch out. And the size and weight of your expanding midsection puts additional pressure on your leg veins. All or any of these factors could lead to varicose veins during your pregnancy.
You can take several steps to minimize the discomfort of pregnancy-related varicose veins:
- Exercise daily. Consult your doctor about developing an exercise plan.
- Elevate your legs higher than your heart when you are lying down. This will help the blood return to your heart.
- Wear compression stockings. Put them on before getting out of bed in the morning to prevent excess blood from gathering in your legs.
- When you ride in the car for a prolonged period of time, stop frequently to walk around.
- Try to sleep on your left side. Your inferior vena cava vein is on the right side of your body, so resting on your left side reduces the weight of your uterus on it, decreasing venous pressure in your legs.
- Avoid standing at length.
- Exercise your leg muscles while sitting or standing for extended periods.
- Do not lift heavy objects.
- Keep within the recommended weight range during each stage of your pregnancy.
Always check with your health care provider before using herbal remedies or over-the-counter medications because some ingredients may not be healthy for your baby. Your doctor will probably have other suggestions regarding your varicose veins.
Several factors, such as obesity and family history of varicose veins, will contribute to the development of varicose veins during your pregnancy. The good new is, most varicose veins that appear during pregnancy return to normal after your baby is born. Do what you can to be as comfortable as possible during those nine months. Reference: www.supportstockings.com