Growing a tiny human is an incredibly big job! A huge strain is being placed on your body as you are nurturing your baby during pregnancy. Did you know that a surprising 30% of first pregnancies cause varicose veins in the mother? And nearly 60% of second and third pregnancies will not only cause varicose veins, but increase your risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis? These are scary statistics that can cause lifelong leg pain. Included here are a few ways to keep your legs healthy during pregnancy and prevent your risk of developing these unpleasant conditions.
Utilize Compression Hosiery
The last thing you want when you are pregnant is to deal with another complicated article of clothing. However, studies have shown that using a well-made compression hosiery can help prevent varicose veins and lower risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis. Compression hose and socks help improve circulation by forcing blood back up to your heart.
During pregnancy, your blood volume can increase by as much as 50% and the hormones produced during pregnancy affect how easily the blood coagulates. Additionally, the heightened levels of progesterone in your system can cause the veins to dilate and become less elastic. Using compression hose can help combat all of these symptoms and reduce your fatigue while you are pregnant.
Don’t Be Still
While you are pregnant, it can be tempting to take long rests on the couch in between work or home responsibilities. However, long periods of sitting or standing can worsen the symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis and increase your occurrence of varicose veins. Be sure you are changing positions or moving regularly.
Since you are working to grow a small person and are likely to become fatigued, rest in an appropriate position during the day and night. Lie flat on your back and elevate your feet to help increase blood flow to the heart.
One of the best ways to boost circulation and increase leg health is through physical activity. While you may not be feeling up to anything strenuous, short walks throughout the day can help move the blood through your system. You may also enjoy swimming as the water can help alleviate pressure in your abdomen and legs. Some studies have shown that consistently moving and walking throughout your pregnancy can help labor and delivery go more smoothly and quickly, as well.
Extended periods of heat exposure can cause your veins to dilate and make your legs swell even more. Try to avoid sunbathing and do not spend any time in a sauna or hot tub. Hot baths should be kept to a minimum and you should work to hydrate well before, during and after.