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Varicose Veins During Pregnancy: What Can You Do?

Many pregnant women develop varicose veins. While you may notice the condition to appear overnight, the veins would have resulted due to the many changes your body undergoes from conception to delivery.

Fortunately, there are a few things that help you prevent varicose veins during pregnancy.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins develop when the valves in your veins become weak and expand with blood. These veins are noticeable from the skin surface as they are swollen and normally have a blue, purple coloring, sometimes red too. When compared to spider veins, they are raised from the skin. It can be painful.

Veins return blood to the heart — they have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing in reverse. When a valve fails, blood starts to collect, as opposed to proceeding to move through the body. This can result in varicose veins.

Varicose veins are bound to form in the veins of your lower body since they need to battle the most against gravity.

Why Are Pregnant Women Prone to Varicose Veins?

One of the major contributors to varicose veins during pregnancy is weight gain and hormonal changes.

Since you’re expecting, you have high volumes of blood to help your developing child grow. You have more progesterone, a hormone that causes the veins to relax, as opposed to the tone they normally need to support blood flow uniformly.

Likewise, the weight of your uterus and baby adds pressure to your lower vena cava, the large vein that carries blood to your heart which makes it difficult to reach the heart.

How Can I Prevent Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?

Women with a family ancestry of varicose veins are at higher risk to develop the condition than those without. Here are a few beneficial tips that can enable you to reduce the seriousness of varicose veins during pregnancy.

#1. Keep your feet up from time to time

During the day, rest your feet on a footrest or stool when you can. This soothes pooling of blood in the legs and enables smoother blood transport.

#2. Wear Compression Stockings

Wear your compression stockings when you get up in the first morning. This help compensates for the loss of tone in your veins, and they’re especially useful if you are standing or sitting for long.

#3. Lay on your left side when sleeping

This eases the pressure off the inferior vena cava, the vein that carries deoxygenated blood back to the heart.

#4. Move around

When you’re sitting, avoid remaining in one position for a long time, and don’t fold your legs. Move around and change how you sit and stand which can keep blood flowing. Exercise can reduce the chance that you’ll get varicose veins — also improve your general wellbeing.

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