Wednesday, May 8, 2013

For Moms-to-Be, Varicose Veins Are Common – And Treatable

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate being a mom whether you already have a family or yours is just beginning. It’s a perfect time to celebrate good health as well. If you are pregnant, being an expectant mom can be full of surprises. Some of them, like the appearance of varicose veins, just aren’t welcome.

About 40% of pregnant women will develop varicose veins.  Hormone surges are part of the biological process of pregnancy, and varicose veins are sometimes part of that process. Varicose veins tend to run in the family as well. Expectant mothers might ask their own moms or other women in their family if they had vein issues during or after their pregnancies

Pregnancy & Vein Health: What You Should Know
Varicose Veins

First Trimester: The first trimester is an especially important time to think about vein health. Women with known risk factors for venous disease should consider wearing compression stockings throughout the first three months of pregnancy and possibly longer. Specially designed maternity graduated compression stockings are available with a doctor’s prescription or at many maternity stores – check with your doctor before you purchase.

Second & Third Trimester: While the most damage seems to happen in the first trimester, the second and third trimester may also carry some risk of developing varicose veins. The volume of blood in a healthy woman increases to about 50% more than before the pregnancy, with the largest increase in the second trimester. With more volume to move, all of the blood vessels are under increased stress. In this final trimester, the uterus continues to expand and put pressure on the veins in the abdominal region.

Varicose Vein Prevention For Moms-to-Be 

Paying attention to vein health can go a long way toward treating, and even preventing varicose veins for mother-to-be. There are several ways to decrease or prevent varicose veins during pregnancy:

  • Wear graduated compression stockings, especially in the first trimester.
  • Exercise often—even a brisk walk will help circulation and reduce symptoms.
  • Frequently pump the foot (heel to toe), even if on bed rest.
  • Avoid tight clothes or high-heeled shoes.
  • Gain only as much weight as recommended by the obstetrician.
  • Take a pre-natal vitamin daily.

Many women find that their varicose veins go away a few months after labor, while
others continue to suffer with them. There are many options available to treat varicose veins. You can find out more about varicose veins and their treatment at the Vein Healthcare Center. Happy Mother’s Day & happy vein health!

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are visible veins in the leg that bulge, often protruding through the skin. They are the result of venous insufficiency: blood that pools in the vein because of a faulty valve and causes the protrusion.

Varicose veins are a symptom of early stage venous disease. They affect approximately half of the U.S. population, and in addition to causing pain and discomfort, those with varicose veins struggle unnecessarily with their appearance.

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