You’re likely to develop varicose veins during pregnancy because the volume of your blood increases during this period. The blood exerts pressure on the blood vessels, weakening the valves, and causing it to flow backwards. The good news is that you can prevent varicose veins even during pregnancy, and have a safe delivery. You only need enough information on how to prevent this condition.

Here are five ways to prevent varicose veins during pregnancy:

Why varicose veins are a problem during pregnancy

Varicose veins may itch, sting, and look unattractive, but they’re usually safe in the short term. If treatment is required, it is generally postponed until after your child’s birth.

Varicose veins can cause tiny blood clots on the skin surface for some (superficial venous thrombosis). The vein may feel rigid and cord-like, and the surrounding skin may become red, hot, tender, or painful due to the clot. At times, the area surrounding the clumps may become contaminated. In that situation, you may have a fever or chills.

You are advised to see the doctor if:

  • Either leg swells dramatically.
  • Your legs become infected with sores.
  • The color of the skin near the veins changes.

Sometimes your medical cover may not cover these minor pregnancy complications. If that’s the case, here are five simple preventive measures for varicose veins during pregnancy.

1.      Live a healthy lifestyle.

Varicose veins might develop due to risk factors that you have no control over. As a result, it’s essential to make healthy lifestyle choices to avoid further damage to your veins. When you’re pregnant, watch your weight. It’s okay for you to experience intense cravings, but remember the extra weight puts additional pressure on your veins.

A weight increase is expected, but you should strive to prevent gaining too much weight too rapidly. Your obstetrician can advise you on how much weight you should gain between visits to the doctor.

2.      Alleviate your feet and legs

Put your legs on a high level throughout the day, keep your legs up, ideally more elevated than your heart. Allow gravity to assist in the drainage of blood from your leg veins. Place a pillow under your feet in bed to help the blood drain while you sleep. If you’re on your feet a lot during the day, make time to sit down and put your feet up.

3.      Watch what you wear.

At all costs, pregnant women should avoid high heels. If you really must wear high heels, keep them for special events and opt for flat shoes daily. Low-heeled shoes put additional strain on your calf muscles, which is beneficial to your veins. Do not wear clothes that are too tight around your waist, legs, or groin, because this can cause blood flow to be reduced.

4.      Sleep on your left side

When you’re pregnant, some doctors recommend sleeping on your left side. This is because sleeping on your left keeps the uterus away from your liver, on the right body side. It also promotes blood circulation to the heart and ensures that blood reaches the fetus, uterus, and kidneys in the best possible way. You can always inquire about your doctor’s recommendations.

5.      Get moving

Taking a daily stroll or doing other low-key, circulation-boosting workouts can prevent varicose veins. Swimming is beneficial, so head to the pool whenever you can.

Varicose veins can now be treated on an outpatient basis, thanks to the development of minimally invasive techniques. There are additional treatments for more severe varicose veins like laser treatment, high ligation and vein stripping, endoscopic vein surgery,  sclerotherapy, and ambulatory phlebectomy. Contact us today for more information.