What Are Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?
Varicose veins are enlarged swollen veins often found on legs, thighs back of the calves. Varicose veins are purplish, red in colour and can be raised above the surface of the skin. During pregnancy varicose veins may form near vagina and buttocks.
Causes Of Varicose Veins During Pregnancy:
Varicose veins are the result of weak or damaged valves in the veins. The blood containing oxygen is pumped by the heart to the whole body through arteries. The veins carry the blood back to the heart from the whole body. Blood is pushed to the heart from lower parts of the body against the gravity. Veins have valves which act as one way flaps to prevent the blood flowing back as it is pushed upwards. During pregnancy the body produces extra blood which exerts pressure on the blood vessels especially veins because of which the veins become weak and the blood leaks from them and collects there. Due to the ongoing flow of the blood the veins becomes bigger causing varicose veins during pregnancy.
Are Varicose Veins During Pregnancy Dangerous?
Though varicose veins during pregnancy may be painful or they may itch, but they are unlikely to cause harm to the mother or the child. In case you did not have varicose veins before pregnancy, they are more likely to shrink and disappear within few months after the child birth. On subsquent pregnancy it is difficult to prevent varicose veins during pregnancy from popping back. Varicose veins during pregnancy may be hereditary which means if your mother had them during pregnancy, chances are that you may also have them. To be safe and sure, its always better to keep your doctor informed about your varicose veins so as to avoid any untoward developments.
When To Consult a Doctor About Varicose Veins?
In case of the following symptoms you should consult a doctor –
- The varicose veins starts bleeding.
- The veins become tender, swollen or red.
- Sores or rash appear on the leg or ankle.
- Skin on the calf and ankle becomes thick and changes colour.
How To Prevent Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?
Prevention of varicose veins during pregnancy is difficult but following the below mentioned tips would help you handle them better.
- Exercise regularly, just have a light walk around to increase your blood flow and circulation.
- When your legs become sore and tired lift them up and keep them on a table or chair, lift your feet often to increase the blood flow. Use a pillow under you feet while sleeping.
- The largest vein in the body called vena cava carries the maximum amount of blood in the body, this vein is on the right side of the body therefore try sleeping on the left side so as to avoid putting pressure on this vein.
- Don’t cross your legs while sitting, because crossing your legs prevent the upward flow of blood to the heart which increases the pressure on the inside of your leg veins.
- Use maternity support hose. Wear them on before standing and leaving your bed in the morning. If you wear them before standing it will prevent blood from pooling in the lower legs.
- Try to exert less and put less pressure on your veins. Take more rest. During pregnancy the growing uterus puts added pressure on your veins in the lower part of the body which restricts the normal blood flow causing swollen veins in your vulva, legs and rectum. Therefore less exertion will reduce the pressure on your veins.
- To keep your veins healthy, take daily dose of vitamin C in your diet.
What’s Your Experience With Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?
Have you been through this during your pregnancy as most of the women do? Please share your view on how you have handled varicose veins during pregnancy. Your views and thoughts would definitely help new pregnant moms to handle the situation well.
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