If you are pregnant, you may experience a range of symptoms. You may have morning sickness, unusual food cravings, swollen feet, and frequent urination, along with an expanding abdomen. Pregnancy can also cause varicose veins.
Below, we discuss how to prevent varicose veins during pregnancy. If you do develop varicose vein symptoms, there are many things that you can do to alleviate pain and discomfort. For additional information, we recommend consulting a vein specialist.
Does Pregnancy Cause Varicose Veins?
During pregnancy, your blood volume increases while the rate of blood flow in your pelvis decreases. This process places immense pressure on your veins, which can eventually cause them to expand. Varicosities during pregnancy most commonly occur in the legs, ankles, and feet.
Pregnancy is not the only factor that increases your risk of developing varicose veins. Age, lifestyle, and genetics can also play roles. We suggest talking with your doctor and family about your medical history to determine if you’re more likely to develop varicose veins. If you are, close monitoring by a vein specialist may be beneficial.
If you are wondering how to prevent varicose veins in the legs during pregnancy, fortunately, making simple lifestyle changes can go a long way towards avoiding venous issues.
8 Tips on Alleviating Varicose Vein Discomfort During Pregnancy
To alleviate or help prevent varicose veins worsening during pregnancy, our experts suggest the following lifestyle changes:
Tip #1. Avoid Standing Or Sitting For Long
If you’re pregnant, we recommend avoiding sitting or standing for long periods. Varicose veins develop when your blood circulation is extremely poor. One of the primary causes of poor blood circulation is sitting or standing for extended periods. It is better to change positions or stand up occasionally throughout the day to boost your blood circulation,
Tip #2. Exercise Regularly
Another important way to prevent varicose veins during pregnancy is to exercise regularly. Varicose veins usually happen in the later phase of your pregnancy. At that time, the baby’s weight pushes down toward your pelvis. Low-impact exercises like swimming or walking can boost blood circulation, benefit your baby’s health, and help you avoid varicose veins.
Tip #3. Elevate Your Legs
If you need to sit in one single position for a longer period, it may help to elevate your legs on another piece of furniture or a small stool. Propping your legs and feet up on pillows throughout the day can also help improve circulation and alleviate swelling and discomfort. You may also wish to try stretching and massaging your legs as often as possible.
Tip #4. Sleep On Your Left Side
There is a major vein that runs down the right side of your body. To prevent putting additional pressure on the veins, try to sleep on your left side. You can use pillows to help place (and keep) your body in this position.
Tip #5. Mind Your Pregnancy Weight Gain
While it is normal and healthy to gain some weight during pregnancy, talk to your doctor about your recommended weight gain range. Avoiding excess weight gain can help prevent varicose veins during pregnancy. Eating a healthy, well-rounded diet and regular exercise can help better manage pregnancy weight gain
Tip #6. Eat Plenty Of Fiber
Eating fiber-rich foods can help you avoid constipation. Straining from constipation can lead to hemorrhoids, a type of varicose vein. Drinking additional fluids can help maintain the health of your digestive system.
Tip #7. Watch Your Sodium Levels
A high sodium diet can strain your veins and lead to painful venous symptoms. Therefore, it is advisable to consume food with low amounts of sodium. We suggest eating plenty of whole foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, and swapping salt for flavorful herbs and spices. Limit processed and restaurant foods.
Tip #8. Don’t Skip Your Prenatal Vitamins
Your doctors will mostly recommend you consume prenatal vitamins every day during your pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins should include both Vitamin C and A. These vitamins are essential for keeping the health of your blood vessels intact so they can naturally repair any vein damage.
Treating Varicose Veins During Pregnancy
If you experience venous pain or discomfort in your legs or ankles during pregnancy, we recommend consulting one of our leading vein specialists. They can determine whether you are suffering from vein disease, also known as venous insufficiency. Usually, vein treatment is recommended six months after pregnancy because many changes occur to the body after delivery. Our vein specialists can work with you to help advise the best course of treatment during and after pregnancy.
Vein disease is the underlying cause of varicose veins. This common health condition can lead to dangerous conditions like venous ulcers and blood clots. Fortunately, minimally invasive vein treatment exists that can treat the underlying problem.
Our non-surgical vein treatments have a similar goal. Our specialists aim to seal any diseased veins and reroute blood flow to healthy, surrounding ones. Treatment typically takes about an hour, from start to finish. Performed as an outpatient procedure, most patients can leave immediately afterward and return to normal activities.
Schedule a Consultation at USA Vein Clinics
At USA Vein Clinics, we provide minimally invasive, outpatient treatment for varicose veins, spider veins, and other venous issues. For personalized recommendations on preventing varicose veins during pregnancy and how best to treat them, just call us at 888.768.3467 or schedule an initial consultation online.