Varicose veins are raised and twisted blue veins. They usually appear on the surface of the legs but can also affect deeper veins. Unfortunately, it goes hand in hand with pregnancy due to the added body weight and the pressure of the growing uterus on the large vein that carries blood back to the heart from the feet and legs. Though it is a harmless part of pregnancy, there are things you can do to reduce the throbbing pain and ease the discomfort.
- Keep your legs raised while sitting or sleeping to reduce blood pooling in the veins.
- Use compression stocking or maternity support hose. It will gently compress the leg muscles and squeeze the veins to help push the blood back toward the heart.
- Don’t wear high heels. Though it won’t cause varicose veins, wearing them makes your calf muscles less effective at pumping blood.
- Sleep on your left side to keep the pressure off of the inferior vena cava, which is on the right side of your body.
- Don’t stand if you can sit. Standing for long period of time can aggravate your varicose veins.
- Eat berries and citrus fruits. They are rich in flavinoids, a group of plant pigment that are packed with health benefits and one of which is the strenghtening of the blood vessel wall.
- Perform leg excercises. This will improve the blood circulation in your legs.
Don’t worry because varicose veins during pregnancy often get better after delivery, when the uterus is no longer pushing on the inferior vena cava.