A baby bump is just one of the signs of your 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 these effects. Some will have one or two and others will have more. Some women are surprised that they develop varicose veins during pregnancy due, in some cases, 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 6 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 your varicose veins don’t go away within a few months of delivery, call 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 in Bloomington, Eureka, Peru, Springfield and Streator.