Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pregnancy Woes: Veins

Did you know that pregnant women have a whole lot more blood.  This is what my hand looks like when I'm pregnant.  This pregnancy (#3) has been giving me problems with veins in my lower body... I guess I'm used to seeing vein-y hands.  They look so much like my mom's.  But I don't find it at all pretty on my calves and thighs.  I generally don't experience pain with them but I don't like the way they look.

My hypotheses for my current condition:

-I'm older... over 30 this time.
-I'm thinner.  I noticed one of the veins that is now my arch nemesis near the end of my pregnancy with baby #2 but it was just a little bulge.  It went down after delivery.  Now that I have less fat on my thighs I can see that it is a ropey looking vein...
-I did too much lifting during my past pregnancy and this one.  (I think this puts pressure on your veins, but I was never worried about it and didn't understand why pregnant women should avoid lifting things (as long as I don't pull anything that is).
-Constipation: a common pregnancy symptom and something I've been dealing with since childhood and never realized was an issue until my early 20s. I've got it under control now, but didn't realize was abnormal or an issue until I started having kids.  One thing I wish I figured out before I started having kids.
-I had a vaginal birth last time and all that pushing put a lot of strain on my veins.  I think I should have taken more time with the pushing but I think I was worried about his head being stuck in that area and I wanted to prove how tough I was.  It was scary but I figured just get it done and over with ASAP.

I was thinking about buying some compression tights or leggings to keep the blood from getting trapped in my legs by gravity... but it's summer!  I'm afraid I'd buy them and they would be way too hot to wear.  I have issues with non-natural fabrics and they just make me sweat.  They are dang expensive too.  I would be interested in leggings but it seems that the reviews on the "leggings" are more like tights so I'd still have to layer with them.

So I talked to my midwife and she recommended an herbal vein support supplement.  Vitanica Veinoblend available here on Amazon.  They are kind of pricey and the capsules are large but I've never had issues swallowing pills.  I've never had it get caught and the gel capsule slides down easily.  They recommend taking 3 a day... so over $20 a month for that supplement.  I'm taking 2 a day right now and I'm not sure that I'm seeing results yet. My midwife says that the ladies who she's had taken these pills have had their vein visibility lessen (during pregnancy) and no longer cause pain.  Thankfully mine are not painful but they can be itchy.

She also pointed out that vein issues in the legs are one thing but they often accompany vein issues in other areas... which can pose an increased risk during delivery for hemorrhage.  She also said that eating more citrus and especially eating more of the white membranes under the skin have tons of good vitamins that promote vein health.  I did some research on this.  Here is one article that goes into great detail The ORANGE is for More Than Juice-DIOSMIN Protects the Veins and Beyond.  I've been scraping the white stuff off of sections of my orange peels and really it's not bad.  My daughter enjoys it too and gives you a little more to eat with each orange. Maybe she'll have stronger veins by the time she's my age.

This was kind of a hard post for me to write.  Hope it wasn't too much info for anyone who cared to read the whole thing.  If you are having the same issues, you are not alone.  Maybe you've even figured out some ways to deal with or treat the issue too.

Continue Reading: Pregnancy Woes: Veins Part 2

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