Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

Varicose or enlarged veins usually occur in your lower legs, but may extend into the Pelvic area. They are caused by your enlarged uterus which presses on your abdominal veins and interferes with the return of blood from your legs. Varicose veins usually shrink and disappear during the first few weeks after the baby is born. However, it is wiser to try to avoid varicose veins than cure them.

You can help avoid varicose veins by not wearing tight garters, stockings, or socks. If at all possible, do not stand in one place for long periods of time. If your job require's you to stand, walk around at break time to improve circulation. If you can, sit down and put your feet up occasionally. Jobs in which you sit most of the day often aggravate varicose veins. Do not sit with your legs crossed or with the pressure of a chair under your knees. If traveling by car, take frequent rest stops and walk around. Support hose will help you prevent varicose veins.

If you have varicose veins or swelling in your legs, lie on a bed, couch, or floor and raise your feet and legs up in the air, resting your heels against the wall. Take this position for 2 to 5 minutes several times a day. if you are using a compression product this may not be necessary

If you have severe varicose veins, you will be advised to wear a higher compression stocking all day. Support hose (low compression) are not as effective as elastic stockings. Put elastic stockings on before you get out of bed in the morning, before your veins become swollen with blood. Take them off just before you go to bed. Wash them in mild soap after every wearing.

If you have varicose veins around your vaginal area, try to take frequent rest periods. Lie down with a pillow under your buttocks. This position elevates your hips and should give you some relief. You can use a V2 Supporter to help prevent the varicose veins.

Leg Cramps

Leg cramps are more common during the latter months of your pregnancy and are generally due to pressure from the enlarged uterus. They frequently occur in bed. You can often get relief from leg cramps by heat, massage, or stretching the calf muscle. Here are two exercises that may help:

  • Begin by standing about 6 inches away from a sturdy chair and holding on to the back of it. Slide the foot of the leg that is cramping as far backward as you can while keeping your heel on the floor. Bend the knee of your other leg as you slide the foot. Hold onto the chair and slide the foot back to the starting position. Repeat.
  • If you have someone to help you, lie down on the bed or floor and straighten your cramped leg. Have your helper push down against your knee with one hand and push up against the sole of your foot with the other hand so that your foot is at a right angle to your leg. Release and repeat several times. If cramps continue, tell your doctor.
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