NOTE: This post contains affiliate links of Recommended products that when you purchase any product through the link provided, I will earn a commission at a no cost which will suport my work as a blogger to produce more educative posts like this one.
Please if the recommended products don’t cause any positive change in your life, I do advice you to see your personal doctor as soon as possibe.
You’re probably ready to experience a number of pregnancy symptoms, but varicose veins can be minimized with several simple adjustments.
Varicose veins are swollen veins that are visible near the surface of your skin.
Pressure from your growing baby and the increased volume of blood flowing through the veins can cause varicose veins, so preventing swelling and reducing pressure is important.
You can make lifestyle changes to improve your circulation and eat foods that reduce swelling in order to avoid varicose veins.
Making Lifestyle Adjustments
Get regular exercise.
Varicose veins typically appear in the later stages of pregnancy, when the weight of the baby is pushing down on your pelvis.
Try to do low-impact exercises throughout your entire pregnancy to keep your blood flowing and minimize your chance of developing varicose veins.
Talk with your doctor about what exercises are best for you, especially during late pregnancy.
Walking and swimming are good low-impact exercises.
You could also try Tai Chi and yoga under professional guidance.
You can also do foot exercises by bending and rotating your feet at the ankles.
Bend, stretch, and rotate your feet throughout the day to keep the blood circulating well.
Avoid sitting in the same position for a long time.
Varicose veins are more likely to develop if your circulation is poor.
This can happen if you have to sit in the same position for a long period of time or don’t get to move around much.
To improve your circulation, try to stand up and change positions occasionally.
Don’t cross your legs when you’re sitting, since this can slow down your circulation.
This also helps prevent blood clots.
Elevate your legs.
If you have to sit in the same position for a long period of time, try to elevate your legs occasionally.
For example, if you have to sit in a chair, rest your feet up on an Ottoman or small stool.
This will relieve some of the pressure on the veins in your legs.
If you can, stand up and go for a short walk before elevating your legs to improve your circulation.
For a comfortable way to elevate your legs, stack several pillows under your feet and knees.
Practice deep breathing exercises.
Deep breathing is a great way to improve your circulation, relax, and prevent varicose veins. Sit comfortably with your feet elevated above your hips.
You might try sitting with your feet raised up on pillows.
Breathe in deeply, so your lungs are full.
Breathe out slowly as you feel the air release from your diaphragm. Do this for 10 minutes every day.
If you can, keep your chest in place as you breathe in.
Your shoulders shouldn’t move up or down as you inhale or exhale.
This may become more difficult as your pregnancy progresses, so follow your body’s needs.
Wear flats or low-heeled shoes.
If you frequently wear high-heels or shoes with tight straps, switch to flats or shoes with low heels.
Wearing high heels can actually increase the pressure on your veins and increase your risk for developing varicose veins.
Flats or low-heeled shoes will allow your blood to circulate easier and keep your veins healthier.
Some low, flat heals can reduce the amount of pressure on the veins in your calves.
You may find that you need to buy new shoes anyway, since many pregnant women’s feet swell during the final months of pregnancy.
It’s best to get fitted for your shoes to make sure they are providing the right support.
Wear support hosiery for pregnant women.
There may not be much you can do about the pressure your belly is putting on your body, but maternity support hosiery can help.
These are thicker than standard women’s hosiery and they’re designed to be looser near your thighs while being tighter near the ankles.
This will reduce some of the pressure from your belly and improve your blood circulation.
You can find maternity hosiery at maternity clothing stores, pharmacies, and medical supply stores.
Try to sleep on your left side if you can.
A major vein runs down along the right side of your body.
To prevent additional pressure on this vein, sleep on your left side if you can.
You can also reduce pressure and swelling in your legs by sleeping with your legs elevated.
Just lay a few pillows underneath your knees and ankles before you sleep.
Don’t worry if you roll onto your right side while you’re sleeping.
The important thing is that you’re comfortable enough to get a good night’s rest.
Prevent vulvar varicose veins.
Although most varicose veins develop on the legs, pregnant women can develop varicose veins in the vulva area, especially during the third trimester.
If you begin to feel pressure or pain in the vulva area, elevate your hips using pillows.
You can also place an ice pack in the area to reduce swelling.
Talk with your doctor if you experience sharp pain or are concerned about vulvar varicose veins.
It’s best to have this area checked frequently if you are experiencing any pain or swelling.
Changing Your Diet
Maintain a healthy weight.
Since you’ll be gaining weight during pregnancy which puts additional pressure on your veins, it’s important to be at a healthy weight.
If you’re overweight, talk with your doctor about healthy lifestyle adjustments you can make to feel more comfortable.
For example, your doctor may recommend eating a more nutritious diet and adding low-impact exercises to your routine.
It’s important to get regular prenatal care, so your doctor can monitor your weight, blood pressure, and overall health.
Typically, a woman who is a normal weight when she becomes pregnant should gain between 25 to 35 pounds (11 to 16 kg), while an underweight woman should gain between 28 to 40 pounds (13 to 18 kg).
An overweight woman should gain between 15 to 25 pounds (6.8 to 11.3 kg), and an obese woman should gain 11 to 20 pounds (5.0 to 9.1 kg).
Women who are pregnant will likely need to gain more weight, as advised by their doctor.
Prevent hemorrhoids by getting plenty of fiber.
While some women will get hemorrhoids no matter what, you should include 25 to 30 grams of fiber in your diet every day to prevent constipation.
Straining from constipation can cause varicose veins known as hemorrhoids.
Eating more fiber means you’ll need to drink more fluids to keep your digestive system balanced. Good sources of fiber include:
- Bran and whole grain cereals
- Beans and legumes
Switch to a low-sodium diet to reduce swelling.
A diet high in sodium can increase swelling which will put pressure on your veins.
Control swelling and prevent varicose veins by eating a diet that’s low in sodium.
Choose no-salt added products and swap out salt with other seasonings (like fresh herbs).
If you can, eat more of your meals at home, since foods in restaurants generally have more sodium than those you prepare in your own kitchen.
For best health, switch out table salt for sea salt.
Take your prenatal vitamin.
Your doctor will probably recommend that you take a daily prenatal vitamin during your pregnancy.
Any prenatal you choose should contain vitamins A and C.
These are important for keeping your blood vessels healthy, so they can repair any damage to the veins.
You can also get these vitamins from food. For vitamin A, eat foods like sweet potato, carrots, and leafy greens.
For vitamin C, good sources include oranges, red peppers, and kale.