Varicose veins are certainly unsightly, but worse, they are uncomfortable. Fortunately, however, there are ways that they can be prevented and treated. First and foremost, exercise. If you were already active prior to becoming pregnant, great! Keep at it! You will want to scale your activity back though, so talk to your practitioner about a level of exertion that’s safe for you and your baby.
If you weren’t particularly active before you were with child, it’s not too late to start. In addition to helping the circulatory system, exercise can ameliorate your delivery and help you regain your pre-baby shape after you’ve given birth. However, be sure not to start any exercise regimen without talking to your practitioner.
One of the best things that you can do for your legs, and for your pregnant self, is also one of the easiest–put your feet up. Be sure that your feet are elevated above your heart whenever possible. Not only does it do wonders for your venous system, but it also feels divine to take all that pressure off your feet and legs.
Finally, another method of prevention and treatment is to wear compression hose. Compression hose often look like nylons, but they are specially constructed to promote optimal blood flow, which can help to combat poor circulation in early pregnancy and beyond. At Vein Specialists of the South, we recommend that women begin wearing compression hose and other compression garments (sleeves and leggings, for example) as soon as they find out they’re pregnant to help avoid the development of varicose veins, spider veins and other effects of circulation during pregnancy. And remember, if you still develop varicose veins despite your best efforts (they are genetic, after all), we can treat them after you’ve recovered from childbirth here in our Macon vein health practice.
Poor Circulation: An Early Pregnancy Symptom
Like almost all of the changes a woman’s body goes through during early pregnancy, poor circulation can be partially blamed on overactive hormones. However, there’s more to it than that. During pregnancy, almost all of your body’s daily inner-processes begin to slow down. This makes it hard for the body to keep blood flowing at its normal pre-pregnancy rate. This is further compounded by the increased blood volume during pregnancy, which makes the general circulation process no picnic for your already taxed body.
One of the best ways to improve circulation is to elevate your legs whenever possible. It’s harder for the circulatory system to get the blood from your toes back up to your heart than it is for it to flow downward; elevating your legs allows gravity to assist your blood flow back toward the heart.
Wearing compression hose also helps to improve circulation. They put specially localized pressure on your veins through graduated compression. This helps coax blood flow back up toward the heart. Again, it’s important to wear compression garments before you ever begin to experience symptoms like varicose veins and spider veins. Compression hose are the easiest way to prevent venous disease and should be worn regularly once you discover you’re pregnant.
Video: When Should Pregnant Women Wear Compression Hose Or Stockings?