Varicose Veins During Pregnancy
In addition to the more common pregnancy symptoms (nausea/morning sickness, fatigue, and headaches), there are some lesser-known symptoms, including varicose veins and spider veins.
Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that often have a cord-like appearance. They are most common in your legs, although they can appear anywhere else in the lower half of your body.
When you consider the change in your blood flow during pregnancy, varicose veins are hardly a surprising side effect. Pregnancy substantially increases the volume of blood that you need, since you are now pumping blood for two. This increases your blood flow and puts more stress on your veins and blood vessels. This is especially true of the lower of your body, which fights gravity to pump the blood back up toward your heart.
Your pregnancy-related varicose veins may not look attractive, and they may even be slightly uncomfortable, but they typically disappear about three months after you deliver, and it’s rare to experience complications. You should, however, let your doctor know that you are presenting with varicose veins, since they can on occasion become inflamed.
While there is no sure-fire way to prevent varicose veins from forming during pregnancy, there are a few techniques that help mitigate your risk, including:
- Use support or compression hosiery to increase blood flow and prevent blood pooling in your legs
- Make sure to keep your legs as elevated as possible when sitting. Try to walk around as often as you can
- Improve your blood circulation by partaking in some cardio, even if it’s only for brief walks
- Keep your weight even
- Gaining weight too quickly increases your risk for varicose veins
- Support your legs