Pregnancy and Varicose Veins
Several things can be done while you are pregnant that can help prevent varicose veins. A few of them are listed below:
- Get plenty of rest – When you are pregnant your hormones and your body change which will cause changes in the pressure of the lower part of your body. These changes can slow down the flow of blood making it easier for blood to settle in your veins. These changes can also cause your veins to become more relaxed causing them to be weaker.
- Sleep on your left side – Rather than trying to sleep in the position you normally do try rolling to your left side. The biggest vein in your body that carries blood is located on the right and if you sleep on that side you run a greater risk of slowing blood circulation.
- Prop your feet - If your feet are sore or tired elevate them using a stool or table. Elevating your feet will reduce the pressure on your legs and allow better circulation. If you sleep on your back, use pillows to prop up your feet allowing better flow of blood.
- Wear maternity stockings – If you use these, you should make sure to put them on before you stand up every morning; however, if that isn’t possible, lay back in the bed and elevate your feet for several minutes.
- Exercise – Regular exercise is helpful for varicose veins even if you aren’t pregnant, but if you are then you still need to continue that exercise. You don’t have to jump around or anything strenuous, but make sure to get some form of cardiovascular exercise by walking either on the treadmill or walking around outside.
- Do Kegel exercises – Kegel exercises are important in preventing hemorrhoids; a condition where the varicose veins are on your anus.
- Drink lots of fluids – Getting enough fluids in your body will help to decrease some of the risks of varicose veins. This can not only keep you hydrated throughout your pregnancy, but will help your bowel movements to become less hard and there will be less strain.
- Eat a healthy diet – Eat foods that are high in fiber and low in fat. The high fiber will assist you in keeping your bowel movements regular and softer, decreasing the amount of strain that you use during a movement.
Additional Causes of Varicose Veins
Although varicose veins and spider veins can occur during pregnancy on your legs, ankles or face the majority of conditions are hemorrhoids’. These are mostly caused by the additional pressure that is put on the uterus during pregnancy, but also from constipation that comes from being pregnant. This constipation causes more strain on a person during a bowel movement and will result in a hemorrhoid around the anus and sometimes even in the vagina, though not often. Normally these will not be painful, but some burning or itching can occur and can be treated using an over-the-counter medication.
If you are sitting down, do not sit with your legs crossed as this will hamper the amount of blood that is allowed to flow through your legs, thus giving more of a risk of varicose veins.