Because of the extra volume of blood during pregnancy, varicose veins are a common issue. When veins collect an abnormal amount of blood, they can swell and become twisted – forming varicose veins. They can be quite painful and can lead to more serious health issues if left untreated.
Here are 10 tips to prevent varicose veins during pregnancy:
- Exercise. Low-impact exercises like walking, bicycling and swimming are recommended exercises as they help to move blood through your veins and can help prevent varicose veins.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing. Tight clothing can constrict blood flow, which can lead to blood pooling in your veins. Focus on wearing loose apparel – it will be more comfortable for you and baby.
- Invest in some compression socks. Compression stockings and socks are the one constrictive clothing item that is recommended. They offer extra pressure to your legs, where varicose veins are more likely to form.
- Elevate your legs. Make sure to elevate your legs throughout the day to help promote circulation. Alternate propping your legs up on a stool and flexing your ankles to help keep blood flowing.
- Eat a healthy diet. Focus on eating fruits, vegetables, lean meats and unprocessed foods. In addition, consuming extra vitamin C will help ensure strong blood flow.
- Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time. When you sit or stand for a long period of time, your blood pools in your veins, which can lead to the development of varicose veins. Instead, move around regularly and try to shift your position to maintain comfort.
- Sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side will promote good circulation. It will also avoid pressure on your body’s main blood vessels, which will reduce your chances of developing varicose veins.
- Avoid wearing high heels. High heels, especially when worn during pregnancy, can promote blood pooling and circulation issues. Wearing flats can increase your overall comfort as well.
- Don’t strain. Avoid lifting heavy objects that cause you to strain as this can lead to vein visibility.
- Consider treatment. While we do not treat vein disease during pregnancy, if varicose veins remain after pregnancy, consider consulting a medical professional to get them treated. If left untreated, venous insufficiency can lead to serious complications that can be life threatening.
Dr. Yan Katsnelson has more than 20 years of experience in surgical treatment of cardiovascular diseases and currently practices at USA Vein Clinics. He specializes in non-surgical treatment of vein disease to improve and enhance the lives of his patients.