Many women experience often harmless but frequently bothersome or painful varicose veins during pregnancy. This is caused by an overall increase in blood volume with a decrease in healthy blood flow to the legs and pelvis.
While it's common to develop varicose veins during pregnancy, they will often get better in the months after delivery. Until then, varicose veins can be managed with the following simple tips:
1. Get plenty of rest
Frequent rest to minimize physical exertion on the body and less pressure on veins.
2. Sleep on your left side
The largest vein in the body, the vena cava, is located on the right side. The vein carries the largest amount of blood through the body. Lying on the left side decreases added pressure on the vein.
3. Elevate your feet
When the legs become fatigued and sore, sit with the feet propped up on a table, chair, or pillow above the level of the heart to increase blood flow from the legs to the heart.
4. Wear support hose
Before standing up and getting out of bed in the morning, put on maternity support hose. This prevents blood from pooling in the lower legs.
5. Exercise regularly
Exercise to increase blood flow from the legs. Varicose veins often subside somewhat after childbirth. If varicose veins persist, vascular surgeons can prevent potential complications like painful skin conditions (ulcers) or phlebitis (clotting of the varicose veins).