During pregnancy, there is extra pressure on the mother’s blood vessels – especially on the veins in the legs, which have to now push all the extra blood back to the heart.
The growing uterus puts added pressure on pelvic blood vessels, and the vessel-relaxing effects of the extra progesterone the body is producing – all join hands to produce varicose veins in expecting mothers.
Varicose veins are painful, and cause itchiness and numbness at times. They are experienced usually in the leg region, genital area, and in the rectum region (Haemorrhoids are the occurrence of varicose veins in the rectum region). They are found to be hereditary in occurrence.
Some simple ways in which pain associated with varicose veins can be reduced are as follows:
- Take frequent breaks and move around as much as possible if you have to stand or sit for a while.
- Do not cross legs when sitting.
- Elevate the feet often; keep cushions or any solid objects handy on which the feet can be put up.
- Get daily low-impact exercise after consulting a doctor or fitness expert.
- Sleep on your left side to keep the pressure off of the inferior vena cava, which is on the right side of your body.
- Wear maternity support hose. They compress the leg muscles and squeeze the veins to help push the blood back toward the heart. They differ from regular pantyhose because they apply gradual amounts of pressure to the leg, with the most compression at the ankle and less farther up the leg
- Avoid tight socks or knee-highs that squeeze at a particular spot on the leg, as this can cut off blood circulation.
Consult the doctor if the pain is too severe to be borne or the skin becomes red and swollen and feels numb with every passing day.
The good news is that varicose veins issues generally go away after delivery, with the uterus no longer there to push and exert pressure on the inferior vena cava.