Women who are pregnant often become worried about developing varicose veins. If they already have them, they are worried that they will get worse.
These strange veins can be recognized by how swollen they are and they are often deep purple or blue. They will show up on your legs or feet. Often, they won’t cause any discomfort but they aren’t the prettiest either. They might even make your legs feel tired and heavy when you already feel overwhelmed by the pregnancy. It can also cause your skin around the area to feel like it’s burning or itching. The symptoms are often worse at the end of the day, especially if you have a job that keeps you on your feet all day.
Why do varicose veins show up during pregnancy?
According to vein doctors and specialists at the Metro Vein Centers like Dr. Diana Wilsher, veins are put under a lot of pressure during pregnancy. Being pregnant stresses the large vein on the right side of the body called the inferior vena cava. When your uterus grows, the veins in your legs see a jump in pressure.
Veins are the vessel that takes the blood from your extremities like your hands and feet and gets it back to the heart to get more oxygen. The veins in the legs are already under a lot of pressure because they have to go against gravity throughout the day.
When you are pregnant, your body starts creating more blood which places your veins under additional pressure. Also, your hormones begin to change and you have greater progesterone levels. This causes the blood vessels to start relaxing their walls, making them weaker.
It is also a genetic predisposition, meaning if someone in your immediate family has varicose veins it increases the chance that you will get them. However, if you get varicose veins while you are pregnant, the vein doctors believe they will improve after you have your child. This is particularly likely if you didn’t show any symptoms before you were pregnant. However, if they don’t get better after birth, you can visit the vein doctors at the Metro Vein Centers for treatment options.
How to prevent varicose veins while pregnant
Even if you are more genetically predisposed to get varicose veins, there are several things you can do to help prevent your chances of getting them.
The first thing to do is to make sure you are still exercising while pregnant. Though you will want to modify your workouts throughout the duration of your pregnancy, exercise is an important factor in improving your circulation. This can help reduce the stress placed on your veins and ensure that the blood keeps flowing the right direction, preventing them from pooling in the vine.
It is also important to stay in the recommended weight range because excess weight can put too much stress on the veins. Stay in the recommended range by consuming plenty of vegetables and fruits which will also help prevent varicose veins.
Keep your feet and legs elevated. As mentioned above, your feet and legs have to work twice as hard as your arms to get the blood back to your heart. When you rest your legs at a higher level than your heart, you make it easier for the blood to get back to the heart. This ensures that the veins are not under constant pressure.
It is also smart to stop crossing your legs or ankles. When you cross your ankles or your legs, it places pressure on your veins and prevents your blood from circulating well. This can cause your legs and feet to swell and might lead to varicose veins.