When veins become swollen, they start to bulge through the surface of the skin. These can be blue or purple in colour and irregular in shape. They are most likely to show in your legs but are also possible in the vulva or some other area. In fact, the varicose veins that occur in the rectal area have been termed haemorrhoids. Pregnancy is often the first time when women develop varicose veins and it is one of the complications they have should be prepared to face.
Tips to avoid developing varicose veins during pregnancy
- Exercise on a daily basis. Even just a quick walk around the neighbourhood can help your blood circulation.
- Do not ignore the recommended weight range of your pregnancy stage and keep yours close to it.
- Move your feet and legs up as many times as possible. Rest your feet on a raised stool or box when sitting. When lying, keep your feet raised high on a pillow.
- Use a pillow to keep yourself towards the left side while sleeping. As the inferior vena cava is positioned on the right side, lying on the left side relieves you from the weight of the uterus. In this way the pressure on your veins of your feet and legs is reduced.
- Avoid crossing your legs or ankles while sitting.
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods. If you must, do so with adequate breaks to move around.
- Put on special support hose. Graduated-compression stockings, which are two times as stout as normal pantyhose, are the best for this purpose. These stockings can be purchased from medical supply stores as well as a pharmacy. They're tight around your ankle and get looser as they go up the leg. This is done purposefully to make it easier for blood to flow back up towards the heart. In this way, they help to prevent swelling and can keep your varicose veins from getting worse.
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