During pregnancy the pressure inside the veins in your legs is three times from what it used to be due to the larger volume of blood in the body. The pregnancy hormone progesterone causes blood vessels to relax. This causes an increase in varicose veins during pregnancy, especially on the dependant parts of the body like the legs and thighs, although there are varicose veins on other parts of your body. Sometimes it gets painful and this happens when the veins pool in with blood.
Other issues that impose on those poor veins:
- If you are overweight
- If you are on your feet a lot due to your job etc.
- If this is your second or third pregnancy
- If this tendency runs in your family
- If you already have varicose veins; they worsen during pregnancy
Things you can do to improve circulation:
- Exercise your feet by circling your ankles and feet whenever you can
- Walking is excellent as it works the muscles surrounding the deep veins in the legs
- Avoid standing still for long periods
- Sleep on your left side; this reduces pressure on your vena cava
- Try getting more rest and while resting elevate your legs when you can as this eases the pressure of blood filling on the veins
- Try wearing support stockings that help prevent statis of blood in legs; make sure you buy the right size
- Try swimming; raise your legs to hip level in the pool and make small circles in front
- Avoid crossing your legs when you sit
- Finally avoid gaining too much weight as this worsens the problem
Remember this is a temporary discomfort; ultimately it goes away once you have delivered. For severe problems, treatment may be necessary through laser surgery or injections. Alternatively there may be herbal treatments available; visit an herbal specialist.