If it’s your third trimester, you may have noticed blue or purple squiggly veins on your legs. Your mother or grandmother may have had them, and now it’s your turn. Can anything be done?
While there is no guaranteed way to keep varicose veins from developing, here are seven tips that may help prevent or minimize them, compliments of Babycenter.
- Exercise daily. Even a brisk walk around the block can help your circulation.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Strive to keep within the recommended weight range for your stage of pregnancy.
- Elevate your feet and legs. Use your recliner, coffee table or a hassock to raise your legs when sitting. Keep your feet elevated on a pillow when lying down.
- No crossing. Don’t cross your legs or ankles when sitting. This cuts off circulation and increases the risk of vein development.
- Take movement breaks. Don’t sit or stand for long periods. Move around to keep the blood flowing.
- Sleep on your left side. Wedge a pillow behind your back to keep yourself tilted to the left. Then elevate your feet with a pillow. Lying on your left side relieves the inferior vena cave from the weight of your uterus. This decreases the pressure on the veins in your legs and feet.
- Wear special support hose. Graduated-compression stockings work best. These stockings are tight at the ankle and get looser as they go up the leg, making it easier for blood to flow back up toward your heart. They help prevent swelling and may keep your varicose veins from getting worse.How to buy and use graduated compression stockings:
- Purchase the stockings from medical supply stores and pharmacies.
- Put the stockings on before getting out of bed in the morning, while you’re still lying down. This will help prevent blood from pooling in your legs.
- Keep the stocking on all day.
- Heavy-duty support hose may be bothersome, especially in hot weather, but bad varicose veins can be even more uncomfortable.
The good news is that varicose veins tend to improve after you give birth, particularly if you didn’t have any before pregnancy. If you find your veins don’t get better, there are ways to treat them. For more information on treatment, see this link from our practice.