Mother’s Day is one of our most celebrated days of the year and if you are a mother you’ve perhaps become accustomed to the many changes life presents. If you are pregnant, being an expectant mom can be full of surprises. Some surprises, like the appearance of varicose veins, are just not well received.
Varicose veins run in families and expectant mothers may ask their own moms or family members if they had vein problems during pregnancy. About 40% of pregnant women will develop varicose veins. The hormone changes as a part of the biological process of pregnancy, and of varicose veins are sometimes part of the process.
Expectant Moms Need to Know:
First Trimester: This is the important time to think about future comfort and vein health. Those new ‘moms-to-be’ with risk factors (family history) may consider maternity compression stockings designed specifically for pregnant women. With hormonal changes, these first three months present the greatest risk for vein health changes.
Second & Third Trimester: While most vein damaging changes occur in the first trimester, the second and third trimester also carry some risks. Blood volume increases to about 50% more during this time, with the largest increase in the second trimester. Due to the volume, blood vessels are under increased stress. As the uterus expands during the final trimester, additional pressure is exerted on the veins in the abdominal region.
Promoting Vein Health During Pregnancy:
- Consider medical grade compression stockings, especially your first trimester
- Continue exercise regime – walking helps circulation and reduces symptoms
- Frequent Ankle flexing and extending (Heel to toe pump), even at night
- Weight gain as prescribed by your OB or Primary Physician
Often varicose veins ease during the early months following delivery, while many women continue to suffer long-term with them. You can find out more about varicose veins and their treatment here on our website – see Varicose Veins.