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Aching legs and varicose veins in pregnancy

Posted Sep 30 2008 11:11am 1 Comment


Studies have shown that 40% of pregnant women develop varicose veins. 

They can be caused by the increase in blood pressure in the veins of the legs, family history, weight gain and pregnancy hormones which relax the smooth muscle fibres in the wall of your blood vessels. There is a vein on the right hand side of your body called the inferior cava which can have added pressure put on it by your growing uterus and can be another cause. 

There are however, some things you can do to reduce your chances of getting them. 

  • Relax and put your feet up, (now you have a great excuse for a rest, as if being pregnant wasn’t enough!) Rest them whenever you get the chance by propping them up on cushions or a chair.
  • Try not to cross your legs, it may be a habit but try to stop yourself.
  • Avoid standing up for long periods. If your day normally involves lots of standing try to find periods when you can sit and give your legs a rest.
  • Sleep on your left hand side and put a pillow behind you to stop you turning over in the night.

The good news is that if you do develop them, they could disappear by around six months after giving birth. If however you find that they don’t and they are causing you pain your G.P will be able to advise you on how you can get them removed.

Comments (1)
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Great tips. Also, try some compression stockings (support hose). These squeeze your legs to keep the veins in the legs open, making your legs less tired and reducing varicose veins. There are even certain brands that have fashionable stockings that you wouldn't necessarily see on your granny.


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