Pregnancy can bring about countless changes to a woman’s body, with one of the most common being varicose veins. According to the American College of Phlebology, up to 50 percent of American women have varicose veins and 10-25 percent of women develop them during pregnancy.
There are do’s and don’ts that women can follow during their pregnancy to help prevent varicose veins, and stop new varicose veins from occurring. Below are some top tips to help pregnant women with stubborn, uncomfortable varicose veins:
- Invest in compression stockings – Compression therapy is a non-invasive way to address uncomfortable symptoms that often accompany varicose veins. These medical-grade stockings encourage healthy blood flow up the leg and prevent the formation of dangerous blood clots.
- Exercise – Regular exercise during pregnancy will not only help to keep you in shape, but also move blood back into the central circulation system. Also, prolonged sitting and standing can increase your chances of developing varicose veins.
- Elevate the legs as much as possible – Elevating legs higher than the heart at least twice a day will prevent symptoms of leg pressure. When standing, try to alternate weight on each leg.
- Eat an unhealthy diet – A low salt/sugar and high fluid (especially water) diet should be followed to help increase volume of blood flow that is carrying oxygen to your body and your baby.
- Ignore swelling – Oftentimes swelling in the legs is overlooked as a common pregnancy symptom. However, persistent and untreated swelling in the legs can contribute to varicose veins and other problems. It’s best to consult with a doctor to determine if treatment may be right for you.
If your varicose veins are still present a few months after giving birth, it may be time to seek treatment. If you’d like to learn more about minimally-invasive treatment for varicose veins, please call our office at (207) 747-1833. We offer complimentary screenings, and our clinical staff would love to meet with you!