Nothing feels more delightful than holding your baby in your arms for the first time after nine months of pregnancy. However, the challenges don’t end there. You’ll be facing more difficulties in your body, including varicose veins, after pregnancy.
Varicose veins are tiny vessels near the surface of the skin of your ankles, legs, or face. They’re often referred to as spider veins because of their spider-like patterns, which usually look like thin lines, webs, or branches.
These veins typically improve within three to four months after you give birth. However, they may stay longer than you’d expect for so many reasons, including multiple pregnancies, a family history of varicose veins, and weight problems.
Read on to learn more about varicose veins and how you can get rid of them after pregnancy.
Why Do You Have Varicose Veins during Pregnancy?
Varicose veins are almost inevitable for many pregnant women. While there are many factors associated with the development of these veins, the main ones include the following:
Increase in the volume of blood circulating throughout the body
Natural weight gain
Uterus adding more pressure on the veins in the pelvis
Stressed blood vessels
Hormonal changes in progesterone
Varicose veins typically improve within three to four months after you give birth.
Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins
If you see any blue, purple, or red spider-like veins in your legs or face, those are varicose veins. Although they’re usually harmless, you may experience the following signs and symptoms:
Pain or burning sensation in your legs
Swelling in your feet and legs (after standing for long periods)
Heavy, sore, or tender legs
Skin ulcers around your ankles
Itchy blueish, reddish, or purplish spider-like veins
Causes of Varicose Veins Post-Pregnancy
Varicose veins usually last for three to four months after childbirth, but they may stay in your body for a longer time due to the following factors:
Number of pregnancies (the chance of getting more varicose veins increases with the number of pregnancies)
Genes (if you have a family history of varicose veins)
Damaged veins during pregnancy
Obesity (carrying additional weight puts more pressure on your veins)
How To Get Rid of Varicose Veins after Childbirth
Varicose veins can be discomforting and painful for people. However, from exercising regularly and adjusting your body posture to wearing comfortable clothing, there’s a lot you can do to treat these veins at home without the need for a doctor’s treatment later on.
If you wish to treat these spider veins after giving birth to your little one, follow these helpful tips:
1. Exercise Regularly
Heavy physical activities aren’t advisable for women in the postpartum period, but that shouldn’t excuse you from staying physically fit and healthy. Take some time to do your short regular exercise and breathe some fresh air.
Even a brisk walk outside your house can do a lot to improve your blood circulation and reduce your symptoms.
Even a brisk walk outside your house can do a lot to improve your blood circulation and reduce the symptoms of the varicose veins in your body.
2. Keep Your Feet and Legs Elevated
Make sure to elevate your legs and feet whenever you sit. You can use a stool or box to rest your legs while sitting. You can also use a pillow for your feet when you’re lying down.
Additionally, sitting or standing for long periods without taking breaks is not advisable during postpartum, especially when you’re suffering from varicose veins. Refrain from doing so as much as possible!
3. Avoid Crossing Your Legs
Crossing your legs isn’t advisable for women after childbirth as it causes cramps and ankle swelling. Additionally, this position also generates higher blood pressure and eventually leads to the development of varicose veins. After childbirth, you should still avoid this position when you’re sitting down to reduce the occurrence of these veins.
4. Wear Support Hose
Wearing a support hose prevents blood from pooling in your legs. Graduated-compression stockings are highly recommended for varicose veins since they’re often used to treat chronic venous diseases and edema. These stockings are tight at the ankle and loose on the legs, so blood can easily flow back up toward the heart.
Although graduated-compression stockings may be bothersome, especially in summer, they can greatly help you prevent swelling and reduce your varicose veins.
5. Wear Comfortable Shoes and Clothes
Taking care of your blood circulation is essential if you want to get rid of your varicose veins. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes at all times.
Wearing high-heeled shoes prevents your calf muscles from pumping blood back through your veins.
Avoid high heels and tight clothes as they put too much pressure on different parts of your body and limit your blood flow. Wearing high-heeled shoes, in particular, prevents your calf muscles from pumping blood back through your veins as it should and can cause the pooling of venous blood in your legs.
6. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight increases pressure on the veins and circulatory system and can lead to inflammation of blood vessels. Drink plenty of water and practice a healthy diet.
Smoking is a no-no, too. The harmful effects of cigarettes on your body and your baby are already crystal clear. Its impact on your blood circulation can worsen your spider veins.
Avoid high consumption of salt since they make our bodies retain more liquid, hence the increase of leg swelling and pressure on the blood vessels. Eating potassium-rich foods is recommended if you want to eliminate excess liquid and salt from your body.
Consult your doctor regarding your weight so you can follow the recommended diet strategy for your body.
7. Take Cold Showers
Cold water improves blood circulation and relieves the tension and pressure in your legs. If you’re really into warm showers, remember to rinse the area with varicose veins with cold water before you finish.
Heat can affect your veins negatively and can worsen the pain caused by your varicose veins.
And most importantly, avoid taking hot baths nor spending time in hot tubs. Heat can affect your veins negatively and can worsen the pain caused by your varicose veins.
As a mom, there will be many sacrifices you’ll have to make for your baby, but that doesn’t have to include your health. You can follow the tips above if you wish to get rid of those varicose veins in your body that have been bothering you since pregnancy.
Motherhood is fun. Don’t let those spider veins ruin it for you. If the veins continue to bother you after three to four months postpartum, it’s best to consult your doctor or a vascular specialist for personalized treatment.
Need more postpartum advice? Read about how to recover from birth trauma.