Varicose veins are common side effects of pregnancy. Roughly four out of 10 women who are expecting will develop them, and they may become more noticeable as the baby grows. While there's no foolproof way of preventing this, there are ways to minimize their appearance and, subsequently, reduce any irritation they may cause.
How to Manage Varicose Veins During Pregnancy
1. Increase Circulation
During pregnancy, the body produces about 50% more blood to supply both you and your baby with the nutrients and oxygen you need. To prevent this blood from pooling in the legs, stay active. Performing a few gentle exercises every day will improve circulation.
You can also facilitate blood flow by elevating your legs when sitting and by alternating placing each foot on a low step stool when standing for long periods.
2. Wear Loose Clothing
Tight clothing, including pants and underwear with elastic tops, can inhibit circulation. To minimize varicose veins, invest in some quality maternity wear that will accommodate your growing belly. You can find lots of affordable pieces at high-end consignment shops.
The one exception to this rule is wearing support pantyhose. Compression socks reduce the strain on veins in the lower limbs, helping you prevent varicose veins from expanding.
3. Monitor Your Weight
The average woman should gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. If you were underweight when you became pregnant, your doctor may encourage you to gain up to 40 pounds. On the other hand, if you were overweight, you may be advised to gain no more than 15 pounds.
Gaining more than your OB-GYN recommends will put more stress on your body over the course of the pregnancy, increasing the demands on your veins. To prevent excessive weight gain, choose fruits and nuts as snacks and avoid fast food.
Although varicose veins often diminish in size following delivery, they may not disappear entirely. If you want to correct any lingering veins after your pregnancy, turn to Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan. Located in New York City, this practice is led by Dr. Ronald Lev, who’s certified in venous and lymphatic medicine. Since 2010, he's been caring for patients throughout all five boroughs and New Jersey. Call (888) 356-VEIN (8346) to request a consultation or learn about your treatment options on their website.