Women who are newly pregnant have more information at their fingertips than ever before about pregnancy and health.
An area that is often overlooked is the development of varicose veins and their little cousins spider veins. Pregnant women can take steps to minimize their appearance.
Varicose Veins and Pregnancy: A Potential Health Question
Varicose veins and spider veins are a surprise to many women who become pregnant. Pregnancy increases blood volume by 20% or more. All that blood means the heart has a bigger job to do.
Varicose veins in pregnancy can indicate a circulation problem. For a pregnant woman, poor circulation can mean blood is not getting to the uterus quickly enough to sustain a growing fetus. Here are four ways to improve circulation while preventing varicose veins.
Exercise During Pregnancy Boosts Circulation and Mood!
Not all women find it easy to keep up an exercise routine in the first weeks of pregnancy. Many experience fatigue and/or nausea.
But exercise boosts circulation, which in turn reduces the likelihood of varicose veins. Plus there are other benefits to consider:
- Exercise releases dopamine almost immediately. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that’s best known for anteing up the brain’s pleasure and reward center but did you know it also boosts concentration? That helps counteract sleepiness.
- Serotonin takes over as dopamine winds down. Serotonin, a hormone essential for regular sleep, also promotes positive moods.
- Exercise also boosts the body’s insulin regulation, which may help avoid pregnancy-related diabetes.
Swimming, walking, and stretching are all safe for most pregnant women. There are also plenty of exercise videos and programs developed specifically for pregnancy.
Sitting for Long Periods Can Cause Varicose Veins
People who sit a lot are at higher risk for circulation problems and varicose vein development, even if they aren’t pregnant.
So get up at least every couple of hours to walk around the office. Many pregnant women need to use the restroom at least that often.
If you have to travel, the Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology in New Hampshire advises not to remain seated for more than six hours.
Elevating Your Legs Lessens the Heart’s Burden
Elevating your legs makes it easier for the heart to circulate blood up and down your legs.
It’s not always possible to move a lounger into your office or cubicle, but you can ask for a small footstool or sneak in a cute Ottoman. When you’re home, rest with your feet at or above heart level.
Compression Hose Should Be Worn From Early Pregnancy
Compression hose is used by people who stand a lot, like flight attendants and wait staff. People with diabetes wear it as well. It’s also an excellent way for pregnant women to avoid varicose veins–the sooner, the better.
Compression hose, which includes socks, tights, and pantyhose, works by squeezing leg tissues and veins, Jeanine Barone writes in Berkeley Wellness. Light to mild compression can help ease tired legs in pregnant women, particularly those who sit or stand a lot. It’s very important to understand the proper way to size and wear compression hose.
Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Are Treatable
We treat both varicose and spider veins at our practice using advanced, FDA-approved procedures.
We use two types of sclerotherapy for spider veins, and the VenaCure EVLT™ targeted laser therapy for varicose veins. Don’t live with pain – learn more about these treatments today!