Pregnancy and Varicose Veins

Vascular surgeons get this question a lot from pregnant women. That’s because varicose veins are quite common among pregnant women, even if you’ve never had bulging or discolored veins before. Your varicose veins may cause itching and be uncomfortable, but luckily they general pose no threat to your baby’s health and they are likely to be temporary. If varicose veins run in your family, unfortunately they may not clear up by themselves after your give birth. In that case, visit your local vein doctor to learn about Venefit procedure or VNUS closure and other methods of vein treatment to get rid of varicose veins.

Why are Varicose Veins Common for Pregnant Women?

While you’re pregnant, your body produces additional blood that helps your baby develop and grow. The extra volume of blood also puts some additional pressure on your veins, especially in the lower legs. Your varicose veins come about as your body tries to circulate your blood from your extremities back up to your heart and lungs. Circulation can be difficult because blood is not only traveling against gravity, there is also added pressure and a shift in weight from the growing baby. Pregnancy’s hormonal changes include more progesterone production, which, as a side effect, tells your blood vessels to relax. For all these reasons, blood may begin pooling in the veins of the legs and varicose veins become more likely for pregnant women.

Avoiding Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

If you had varicose veins before you got pregnant or if they run in your family, you might not be able to prevent them from showing up during pregnancy. You may need vein treatment to banish varicose veins after giving birth. Use the following expert prevention tips from your local vascular surgeons can help you avoid or decrease the occurrence of varicose veins. (Most of the tips apply to anyone, pregnant or not) who wants to prevent varicose veins.)

  • Shift your body weight from one leg to the other every few minutes when standing up for a lengthy period, .
  • Put your feet up. Take every opportunity to elevate your legs, particularly if you’ve been walking or standing up for a long time.
  • Break the habit (if you have it) of crossing your legs when seated.
  • Go for a walk several times each day. (This also helps calm stress and can improve your energy level.)
  • Don support hose each morning before rising. The stockings support the leg veins, helping to ensure proper blood circulation.
  • Avoid tight clothing and shoes.
  • Opt for comfortable low heels or flats instead of high heels.
  • You may get the most sleep (and the and best night’s sleep) by lying on your left side to ease pressure on major veins and blood vessels.
  • Don’t strain yourself. This means don’t try to lift heavy items and don’t strain on the toilet. This can contribute to varicose veins. (Hemorrhoids are actually a type of varicose veins.)
  • Keep your circulatory system healthy with a balanced diet and follow the weight recommendations of your obstetrician.
  • See the vein doctors if you have continuing symptoms of varicose veins, post pregnancy.

If Varicose Veins Don’t Fade Away after Pregnancy …

If your varicose veins don’t fade away within a few months of giving birth, see your local vein doctor at the vein clinic in Boca Raton. The Kimmel Institute offers several non- or minimally invasive treatment options to banish your varicose veins.