Tips to Prevent Varicose Veins and Minimize Symptoms During Pregnancy

  • Avoid tight knee-highs or garters
  • Avoid excessive weight gain
  • Sit with your legs and feet raised when possible. If you work at a desk, you can prop your feet up on a footstool, box or several books. Or when relaxing at home, keep your feet up on a footstool, some pillows on the couch, or another chair. Try to avoid long periods of standing or sitting.
  • Avoid heavy lifting
  • Avoid straining during bowel movements as this can lead to hypertension and hemorrhoids
  • Try to exercise twenty to thrity minutes a day; this can be something like a brisk walk or a swim
  • Vitamin C helps to keep veins healthy and elastic

Some women get spidery purplish-red lines on their thighs called spider veins. These result from the hormone changes of pregnancy and should not be confused with varicose veins. They usually fade and disappear after delivery. If not, they can be treated easily by a dermatologist.

Leg Cramps

At different times during your pregnancy, you might have cramps in your legs or feet. This is due to a change in the way your body processes, or metabolizes, calcium.

One way to prevent these leg cramps is to make sure to get enough calcium through nonfat or low-fat milk, and calcium-rich foods.

You also get some calcium in your prenatal vitamin, but you might need to take a calcium supplement if you don't get enough through your diet. Talk with your health care provider first about taking calcium supplements.

Fatigue and fluid accumulation in the legs are also thought to be contributing factors to leg cramps. You can limit the effect of fatigue and swelling by wearing support hose during the day and alternating periods of rest with your feet up, with periods of physical activity.

You can relieve leg and foot cramps by gently stretching the muscle. If you have a sudden leg cramp, flex your foot towards your body.

If you point your foot to stretch your leg, the cramp could worsen. Wrapping a warm heating pad or warm, moist towel around the muscle also can help relax the muscle.

Table of Contents
1. First Trimester
2. Dealing with Fatigue
3. Morning sickness tips
4. Not that heartburn again!
5. Unsightly varicose veins
6. Prevent varicose veins
7. What are you craving?
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