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Being pregnant brings with it a number of changes to a woman’s body. Aside from growing a gorgeous belly bump, an expectant mother’s blood also doubles in volume, which, in turn, creates significant pressure on the blood vessels and leads to spider veins.
While mostly harmless, spider veins are unsightly, to say the least. Thankfully, these small red or bluish veins that typically appear on the legs and face can be prevented.
Here are some tips on how to prevent spider veins during pregnancy
Don’t stand or sit for extended periods of time
Being on your feet or sitting for long stretches of time can trigger the formation of spider veins, so you must not stand or sit for too long. However, if there is a need for you to stand for a long period of time, you should at least shift your weight from one leg to the other every now and then. If you have to sit for some time, then you should shake things loose by standing up and moving around or every 30 or so minutes.
Elevate your legs
Whenever you’re resting, you should always prop up your legs to improve circulation, promote venous drainage, and reduce swelling. Do this as often as you can.
Uncross those legs
If you’re in the habit of crossing your pretty legs while sitting down, it’s time for you to drop it because it restricts your blood flow, which causes the veins to swell up.
Wear compression stockings
To avoid developing spider or even varicose veins, you need to take some of the strain off those veins. Compression stockings can do just that and keep your veins from enlarging.
Aside from helping keep spider and varicose veins at bay, wearing compression stockings can also help relieve your tired, aching legs and help you avoid feeling lightheaded when you stand up. Compression stockings may also help you avoid the very dangerous condition called deep vein thrombosis.
Before buying compression stockings, consult your OB first to make sure it’s the right option for you.
Add more fiber to your diet
One thing you need to avoid is constipation, as the deep veins in your legs get constricted this way. When this happens, your blood has no choice but to pool towards superficial veins, and that’s when those spider and varicose veins appear.
Avoid constipation by adding more fiber to your diet. Whole grains like bran, vegetables, and fresh fruits are high-fiber foods that should help you do your “business” much easier.
We all know the many benefits of regular exercise, but did you know that it can also help you stave off spider veins and the like?
When you perform exercises that work your legs, you improve their strength and circulation, as well as make the veins more stable. Since you’re preggo, the best leg exercise for you would be walking. Working out should also help you keep your weight gain—which is perfectly natural for pregnant women—more gradual, which your legs will thank you for as you won’t be suddenly placing excess pressure on them.
Should spider veins on legs continue to appear despite taking appropriate measures and you’re bothered by their appearance, use a concealer to keep them out of sight. Do you have your own hack on how to keep spider veins during pregnancy at bay? Please share with the rest of us in the comment below.
Dr. Shannon York is the Medical Director at Expert Aesthetix in Scottsdale, AZ. She’s been working in the field of anti-aging and naturopathic medicine for nearly a decade now. An expert in all aspects of aesthetic medicine, Dr. York specializes in women’s health, natural hormone replacement therapy, and anti-aging nutrition.