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Pregnancy and Your Circulatory System

Pregnancy and Your Circulatory System

Posted on April 11, 2018 by Dr. Stephen Rivard


The feeling of having a human life growing inside you is nothing short of amazing. A little kick or sudden movement is a welcome distraction. The many changes your body endures during pregnancy are just a preview of the flurry of changes that will soon become your new normal.

While your belly grows, and you daydream about what your baby might be like, your feet become swollen, and your blood volume increases. This added pressure on your circulatory system causes takes a toll on your veins. It is during pregnancy, that many women first notice the appearance of bulging twisted veins in their legs. Although varicose veins are predominantly a hereditary trait, these conditions may cause them to appear much sooner than they might have otherwise.

So, are they an inevitable consequence of motherhood? Not necessarily. Can anything be done to prevent them? Well, we can certainly try. Here are some tips for expectant mothers to prevent or tame their varicose veins during and after pregnancy.

  1. Elevate your legs – Varicose veins occur when the valves in the veins give way to the increased pressure of blood flowing upward toward the heart. By elevating your legs, you lighten the load on your veins.
  2. Keep moving – Do not spend too much time in any one position. Sit for a while, little while, stand and walk around, do some light exercise – just keep it moving.
  3. Keep an eye on your weight – Don’t over do it while you are pregnant. While you might have good reason to put on a few pounds, keep in mind that not all of it will fall away the moment your baby is born. Keep your diet healthy and well-balanced.
  4. Wear compression stockings – This just might be your best defense against varicose veins. Available at pharmacies and medical supply stores, compression stockings help your body manage increased blood volume.
  5. Uncross your legs – Resist the temptation to cross your legs when sitting. While it may be considered ladylike, crossing your legs impedes blood flow, making it harder to carry your blood back to your heart.
  6. Relax! Just because you have varicose veins during pregnancy doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve got them for life. Like strange cravings, and strong aversions to particular foods and scents, many women find that their varicose veins fade away just a few months after their babies are born.

Are you pregnant and worried about your varicose veins? The combination of surging hormones, increased blood volume, and family history, and other factors can contribute to the onset of vein disease. Take a minute to schedule a consultation with a vein specialist. It certainly won’t hurt. The board-certified vein experts at Illinois Vein Specialists have helped more than 10,000 patients over the past decade. Don’t wait! Take the first step toward improving your long-term health today.



At Illinois Vein Specialists, we understand that seeking proper care is just as important to you as it is for us.  That is why we focus only on treating varicose and spider veins and provide the most advanced and effective treatments available today.  We treat patients from Buffalo Grove, Cary, Elgin, Algonquin, Palatine, Vernon Hills, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Fox River Grove, Mundelein, Grayslake, Wauconda, Glenview, Northbrook, Chicago, and all areas of Barrington, Illinois. 

We understand that when you choose a doctor you want to go to someone you know, like and trust, and honestly so do we. We know that patients come to us most often from satisfied patient referrals, but we encourage you to do your own homework and ask around. In the end no matter where you live or who you decide to have treat your varicose or spider veins find someone who focuses only on diagnosing and treating varicose and spider veins -- find a Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic Doctor.



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Tagged pregnancy, pregnancy and veins, varicose veins and pregnancy


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