Though pregnancy is mostly a time of sheer bliss, oftentimes expectant mothers find small things to worry about. Pregnant moms-to-be often worry about little matters such as how they’re going to lose all of their baby weight or should they get laser hair removal since they can’t seem to reach their legs to shave them properly.
Other expectant mothers fixate over why varicose veins have formed in their legs in just a few short months. Even women who have never had varicose veins sometimes develop them during pregnancy. Although they may be unhappy about how their legs look, it’s important to know that varicose veins can sometimes lead to serious problems. It helps to have an understanding of what causes them to develop during pregnancy and how to make sure they don’t progress into something worse over time.
Varicose Veins: The word “varicose” means “swollen” or “dilated.” Varicose veins occur when some of the blood in veins does not move toward the heart. Instead, it pools in the vein or even flows backward. Sometimes this is caused by improperly functioning valves.
During pregnancy, other factors come in to play as well. A woman’s body will naturally begin pumping more blood throughout her body to accommodate the growing fetus. Hormones cause the veins to dilate. As the baby and the uterus grow, they add pressure on veins in the woman’s pelvis and legs.
Symptoms: Varicose veins during pregnancy most often occur in the legs. The veins typically appear blue because the blood inside hasn’t made it back to the heart, it hasn’t been oxygenated. The veins can become swollen and bumpy. The woman may also feel leg pain, weakness or itching around the vein areas. If you plan to have another maybe there is a risk your varicose veins may appear again, even if they subsided after your first pregnancy.
What can you do about varicose veins during pregnancy?
There are several ways to ease and prevent varicose veins:
- Neither sit nor stand for long periods of time.
- When you are sitting, put your feet up when possible.
- Use medically-prescribed compression stockings.
- Only gain as much weight as your obstetrician recommends.
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Don’t strain as this can add to vein visibility
- Sleep on your left side to avoid pressure on your main blood vessels
What happens to the varicose veins after pregnancy?
Many women find their symptoms improve or disappear altogether after pregnancy. If you find your varicose veins do not subside after giving birth you may want to consult a Boca Raton vein specialist. Even if you plan to get pregnant in the future, it is safe to undergo medical treatment for varicose veins in between pregnancies.