Of all the things to consider and be conscious of when expecting, here’s another one to add to the list! Many women will experience an onset of varicose veins during pregnancy, but luckily most will subside in the weeks following delivery. Read on to find out why varicose veins are common during pregnancy, how to find relief, and what to expect following delivery.
During pregnancy, your body is producing a lot more of everything for the simple purpose of supporting two living bodies. Levels of blood and fluid in your body when expecting increase drastically, which can lead to undue pressure. Specifically, your veins and vein valves will experience more than normal pressure to carry the increased amount of blood. In addition, many things within your body are growing and shifting which can cause additional pressure on the veins creating the perfect conditions for the development of varicose veins.
If you experience varicose veins during pregnancy, the good news is this is not something that will put you and your baby at risk. However, you may experience some symptoms that are manageable with proper self-care.
If you experience aching or swelling of the legs due to varicose veins here are three tips to help reduce symptoms:
1. Elevate your legs when possible allowing your feet to rest in a position above your heart.
2. Wear low-grade compression stockings to promote circulation throughout the legs.
3. Avoid standing for prolonged periods, as this will only compound the added pressure already on your veins during pregnancy.
The good news is that if you did not have varicose veins prior to pregnancy, they most likely will disappear within 6 weeks of delivery. However, if you do experience varicose veins while expecting, they are likely to reappear during any future pregnancies. It is important to note you should not attempt to seek treatment for varicose veins while pregnant unless your symptoms become severe and it is recommended by a board certified vascular surgeon. If your varicose veins and corresponding symptoms do not subside within 6 weeks of pregnancy, talk with your primary care physician about treatment for varicose veins. Ideally, you should wait to seek treatment until you are done having children as varicose are likely to resurface during future pregnancies.
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