Varicose veins are purple or blue veins that show up near the surface of the skin. They most commonly appear on the legs, and are very common during pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body increases blood volume and decreases the speed at which your blood returns from your legs to your pelvis. As a result, this increases the pressure on those veins and causes varicose veins to appear. Higher hormone levels also contribute to varicose veins by causing the veins to be more dilated or open.
The inferior vena cava is located on the right side of the body. Sleeping on your left side helps to relieve the vein from the weight of the uterus, thus decreasing the pressure on the veins in your legs and feet. You can place pillows between your knees and behind your back to keep yourself tilted. Also, avoid lying flat on your back since this can restrict blood flow to the vena cava as well.
Wearing graduated compression stockings can help to both prevent and improve varicose veins. These compression tights are designed to be tightest at the foot and offer lighter support as they go up the leg. This makes it easier for blood to flow back up toward your heart and as a result may help prevent swelling. It is best to put the tights on first thing in the morning while still lying in bed and keep them on all day.
To promote healthy circulation and to keep blood pumping effectively, it is important to exercise daily. Taking a 30 minute walk or trying a prenatal workout can help stimulate healthy circulation. Avoid sitting and standing for long periods of time and crossing your legs or ankles while sitting.
Strive to keep within the recommended weight range for your stage of pregnancy. You should gain 1 to 5 pounds in the first trimester and about 1 pound per week for the rest of your pregnancy (which comes to about 25-35 pounds total). If you are gaining more weight than normal, try cutting out empty carbs such as sugars, refined flours and processed food. If you’re struggling with putting on weight, adding more fruit and dairy to your diet can help.
Do you have varicose veins or spider veins? Trust the experts at Via Vascular. Our doctors offer minimally invasive Seattle varicose vein treatment, including endovenous laser treatment and microphlebectomy. Schedule an appointment today to find out if you are a candidate for treatment by calling Via Vascular at (206) 525-8346 or by filling out our online contact form.
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