Dealing With Varicose Veins During Pregnancy
Lets talk cause, concern, and prevention…
If YOU can relate to varicose veins during pregnancy, you have my sympathy… I feel your pain!
There are a number of unpleasant symptoms and conditions which go hand in hand with pregnancy, and Varicose Veins is definitely in my top 10!
Everybody knows that your body changes when you are pregnant. Your belly grows, your thighs get closer, your boobs, feet, and hands swell, but I DID NOT expect to go so suddenly from having strong runner’s legs to painful Varicose Vein legs at week 14. 🙁
So What Are Varicose Veins, and How Do I Know if I’ve Got Them?
My first indication that there was a problem, was when I discovered a very dull ache in the top of my thigh. I noticed this was particularly bad when I had been doing something which involved standing around on my feet a lot. Although I’m lucky enough not to have a job which requires standing on your feet all day, ANY prolonged standing or walking would lead to problems.
I was keen to check this out with my midwife when we met at my 16-week check. She asked to see them and I was surprised at her reaction…she stated ‘oh yes, they are quite raised’. As I found the pain come and go, I was surprised she thought they were so prominent.
Why Oh Why…?!
During pregnancy, you have an increased volume of blood which needs to be carried around your body. The rate at which this blood flows from your feet, back up to your pelvis becomes decreased. This, in turn, puts pressure on the veins and caused them to become enlarged.
During pregnancy, the enlarging uterus can also be responsible for causing Varicose Veins. It too puts pressure on the vein carrying blood from the feet and legs to the heart. Although most commonly found in the legs, during pregnancy, they can also be present in the buttocks or vaginal area.
Hormones can also play their part with Varicose Veins, as increased progestin levels can open and close veins.
I wasn’t all that surprised that this was one of the main pregnancy symptoms, I was unlucky enough to get, as Varicose Veins are hereditary in my family. I was however curious as to why I had not experienced varicose veins during pregnancy with my first child. My midwife explained that during that pregnancy, my veins were weakened, and so now they are struggling with the increased volume of blood I have with Johnston baby No.2.
Symptoms Associated With Varicose Veins:
Heavy and Aching Legs
Swollen Ankles and Feet
Tenderness in the Veins
If any of these symptoms are severe, contact your Midwife or GP.
Fortunately, Varicose Veins usually return to normal three or four months after delivery of your baby…phew!
Varicose Veins are generally harmless, and they can look worse than they feel.
What Can You Do to Ease the Symptoms??
Engage in Regular Exercise
Avoid Sitting or Standing in the Same Position for Long Periods of Time
Sleep on Your Left Side
Elevate Your Legs When Possible to Improve Circulation
Drink Plenty of Water
Avoid Crossing Your Legs When Sitting
Wear Maternity Hosiery(Compression Tights/socks)
Reduce Sodium Intake to Minimise Swelling
Avoid Wearing High Heels
Some of these may be easier to fit into a busy lifestyle than others, but they are ALL important to reduce the impact of Varicose Veins…
Can You Guess My Favourite Remedy?
Yep, you got it…ENGAGING IN REGULAR EXERCISE – Another great reason to ensure you keep active throughout your pregnancy.
In my experience, I have found that my legs begin to ache if I have a number of days stood on my feet, but not necessarily using them. I can also note the relief once I have taken to time to go for a run, a swim, or get my groove on at a clubbersize session.
Having said that, DO NOT underestimate the need to take the weight off and rest as you progress through the trimesters. As baby grows, and you get bigger, activities are bound to become harder to partake in. Some much-needed rest time should be prioritised.
If like me, you are finding it hard to sit and do ‘nothing’, check out my video which demonstrates some easy, gentle foot and leg exercises to keep the blood circulating.
My Midwife advised me to invest in a pair of compression stockings or tights, and wear them as much as possible..oh dear!
Despite knowing how uncomfortable these would be during the hot summer months, I was keen to do the best thing for me, and, immediately headed to the pharmacy to pick up my very own pair.
Check out the range HERE….And Check me out…
Something else I have used to relieve the stress of swollen Varicose Veins and pregnant legs in general throughout this extreme heatwave we have been experiencing is this…
I was introduced to this company at the NEC Baby Show back in April. All products are natural and developed by Jane the Midwife, who I was fortunate enough to meet!
I’m loving testing out all these great products throughout my pregnancy…look out for my upcoming blog on the wide range of Natural Birthing Company Products.
Have You Got a Story to Tell About Varicose Veins During Pregnancy? Maybe you have another great remedy to share…
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