A baby bump is just one sign of pregnancy. Rapidly changing hormone levels contribute to many physical changes in your body including fatigue, breast tenderness, nausea, and constipation. Not every woman experiences all of these side effects. Some will have one or two and others will have more. Some women are surprised to discover that they develop varicose veins during pregnancy. In some cases, this is due to rising progesterone levels that cause the walls of the blood vessels to relax.
Varicose veins can appear during pregnancy for a number of reasons other than hormonal changes. If your mother or father had varicose veins, you are much more likely to develop them. As your uterus grows, it puts pressure on the large vein in your abdomen (the inferior vena cava), which in turn increases pressure in the leg veins, leading to varicose veins. Additionally, while you are pregnant, the amount of blood in your body doubles, adding to the burden on your veins.
Some varicose veins may disappear quickly after birth, but they do tend to get worse with each successive pregnancy and as you get older. Here are six things you can do to help reduce your risk for varicose veins while pregnant:
- Exercise as permitted by your doctor.
- Keep your weight within the range recommended by your doctor.
- Elevate your feet and legs whenever possible.
- Don’t sit or stand for long periods of time in one position.
- Sleep on your left side.
- Wear medical-grade compression stockings.
If you have varicose veins in pregnancy call The Vein Specialists for an evaluation and to learn more about which treatment is right for you. During your initial consultation, one of our physicians will help you understand the underlying cause of your varicose veins, explain your treatment options, and then guide you through every step of your procedure and recovery.
Contact The Vein Specialists at 309-862-4000 to schedule a consultation with one of our physicians or request an appointment online at www.ILveins.com . We have convenient locations at 3302 Gerig Drive in Bloomington or 2011 Rock Street, Suite D2 in Peru.