During pregnancy the amount of blood in your body increases and the speed of blood traveling through your veins decreases, causing blood pressure to rise. As if heightened blood pressure wasn’t enough, a pregnant woman’s body also produces more progestin, which causes veins to become dilated and susceptible to venous disease. That being said, if you or someone you know is pregnant or will be in the future, here are a few of the most important steps to follow to preventvaricose veins from forming.
Promote circulation. Keeping your legs elevated above your heart is the best way to encourage blood flow while pregnant. While there may not be many opportunities to kick back with your feet up, positioning a pillow at the foot of the bed allows you to raise your legs as you sleep.
Modify movement. Whether your day-to-day duties have you sitting or standing the majority of the time, make sure you leave room to do the opposite. For example, if your profession requires you to sit at a desk all day, make an effort to take frequent breaks to walk around the office.
Keep weight down. While gaining weight is unavoidable during pregnancy, monitoring your weight gain is not. The more you gain, the more pressure your veins will have to endure, so consult with your doctor to decide on an appropriate amount of weight gain and stick to it.
Support yourself. Wearing supportive panty-hose or compression stockings can help take some of the pressure off of your veins. Compression stockings exert exterior pressure that helps force blood back up toward your heart without putting strain on your vascular system.
Avoid constipation. Sticking to a high fiber diet and staying hydrated can help prevent hemorrhoids and vascular issues caused by constipation. In some situations, you may also want to consult with your doctor about a stool softener.
While most cases of varicose veins acquired during pregnancy clear up on their own with proper care, some unfortunately do not. If your veins are suffering the lingering effects of pregnancy, allow Dr. John Gallagher to help.