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Varicose Veins after Pregnancy

Apr 17, 2017Varicose Veins

Your body goes through many changes during pregnancy – not all of them for the good. Sure, all the changes are for the ultimate good of having a healthy and wonderful baby, but many of the changes result in permanent or long-lasting scarring or other cosmetic issues that make you not so happy to look in the mirror. Among them can be varicose veins and spider veins.

Varicose veins result in unsightly bulging of the veins, creating a gnarled and purple knot right below your skin. Sometimes, the veins can also be quite painful. The problem is caused by weakened veins that are not able to return the blood to the heart efficiently, allowing blood to pool and enlarge the sides of the veins.  In pregnancy, varicose veins are caused by the pressure of the growing fetus on the pelvis and hormonal changes that result in the shifting of bones and tendons. In many cases, varicose veins will fade on their own after the pregnancy is over. The pressure is relieved, and things return to normal, so your veins gradually become stronger and more efficient.

In some cases, the varicose veins may stick around after the pregnancy, and you’ll have to get professional treatment if you ever want your smooth, beautiful legs back. You’ll have to wait at least six months after your pregnancy to seek treatment since it can take that long for your body to recover from the changes brought on by pregnancy.

The best “treatment” is prevention, of course, and there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing varicose veins during pregnancy:

Exercise Every Day

Not only is exercise good for your body and good for your pregnancy, but it can also reduce your risk of developing varicose veins. Exercise promotes healthy circulation so that blood does not pool in your veins.  You don’t have to sweat it out in the gym every day to get the right exercise. You can take a simple walk around the block every day, or you can do some gardening or some brisk housework. Focus on doing tasks that you enjoy so that you will be more likely to keep up with the daily routine. Mix it up with different exercises if you start feeling bored.

Avoid Sitting or Standing for Long Periods

One of the biggest contributors to varicose veins is the act of sitting or standing for long periods. Circulation slows, and blood has a chance to pool in the veins when you are not moving around a lot.  You can avoid this by just taking simple breaks every now and then when you are doing work that requires a lot of sitting or standing. Aim for a mini break once an hour.

Elevate Your Legs

Give yourself a break every now and then and kick your feet up. You’ll feel better, and you’ll help the blood in your legs make it back up to your heart, reducing the risk of varicose veins.  Even if you do everything “right,” you can still get varicose veins after pregnancy. Call Coastal Vascular Center for effective treatment that can get you your beautiful legs back!

Call us at 281-949-6020 to speak with one of our specialists about what treatment options are available for you.