Pregnancy Woes: Veins
I've been trying my best to deal with my vein issues.
I'm all about prevention and I wish I knew more about veins before my pregnancy. If varicose and spider veins run in your family I would be prepared to deal with them during pregnancy. I would take supplements for it before you see anything just to improve your vein elasticity and health. If you see any signs of vein damage get some compression on them ASAP (if I had ace bandages I would have wrapped the affected area while I waited for my stockings in the mail).
Risk Factors For Varicose Veins [http://www.nashvilleveincenter.com/what-causes-varicose-veins/]
- Sex – Varicose veins affect more women than men.
- Hereditary – It is a hereditary condition.
- Obesity – Obese people are at a higher chance of developing varicose veins.
- Pregnancy – Pregnant women are more likely to develop varicose veins. This is probably because of the higher volume of blood in the body that burdens the circulatory system. In these women, the varicose veins may disappear after delivery. [this was my experience with my last pregnancy I only slightly found one bulge near the end of my pregnancy and it faded. Hopefully my new ones will fade too.]
- Age – With increasing age, the walls of the veins weaken and lose elasticity.
- Certain jobs/careers – Long periods of sitting or standing at a job can raise the likelihood of developing varicose veins.
So when I first wrote my other post I had a few bulges in my thigh and behind my knee of my right leg. They are varicose veins. They look like twisted and knotted veins under the skin. Mine look kind of like the image with the greenish background although less defined and on my inner thigh. I don't want to share pictures of my own legs at this point...
Shortly after I started taking my supplements I started getting spider veins on my calf (kind of like the image above right but mine look like 3 bruisy splotches) . They are not just itchy but when they get bad at the end of the day they are a bit painful.
I ordered some compression knee high socks... they definitely help. I think wearing the compression helps prevent further damage and helps them to heal. If I could stand the heat of wearing full pantyhose in August (or if I had AC) I would have worn them all the time.
I bought these knee highs at discountsurgical.com (best prices I found on the web) they are the value brand and I think they work just fine and I really feel the difference when I'm on my feet all day. I ordered medium 15-20mmHg in nude and the color was a little pale/cool... depending on what I wear with them it's less noticeable, but wearing a knee high sock I'm not showing much leg. They are very snug and stiff so I found wearing them in flat shoes gives me a crease at the ankle... looks old and frumpy. So if I wear them with a skirt or dress I wear a 1 1/2 - 2 inch heel and I don't have the issue.
I also ordered some full maternity pantyhose so I can address my thigh issues too. I also ordered them in nude but the color looks a lot better (warmer color) than the knee highs. Now because of my height (5'8") I just barely fell in the Lg category on the size chart (use pre-pregnancy weight). I almost considered ordering the Med. because I'm vain and I worried that the they would not squeeze my scrawny calves very well... I am GLAD I went with the larger size because I am tall. When I first wore them around 30 weeks or so, they didn't feel tall enough in the torso and they felt like they were actually pulling my pregnant belly down... This also added to that breathless feeling I was getting at that time in my pregnancy. Luckily after my baby dropped (his head is right at my pelvic bone) they became much more comfortable and since the weather began cooling off, I wear them much more often.
Before the weather cooled I also ordered these: I figured they would let my feet breath and I could wear them with just about anything. The only issue is that I have pretty full thighs and some saddle baggage so I get a little bulge above the top band... so I don't wear them with yoga pants or slim fitting clothing but I wear them under jeans all the time. I would prefer these in a medium compression but they only come in firm compression. When I wear them I have occasionally noticed some edema (swelling) in my feet by the end of the day. I like having these as an option because they are cooler than having my feet and belly covered in synthetic fabric... they are also kind of cottony but still slightly sheer.----UPDATE... one day I wore these and my feet swelled up pretty bad... with pregnancy edema is also an issue. Since then I only wear them with nice snug socks.
I also ordered one pair of white knee-high athletic socks. I actually got a different pair than I ordered. They sent me some Mojo (a name brand) socks. They have their name in black at the top and on the soles... I love these socks and plan to wear them all the time even after pregnancy (they feel so good on my calves and feet... giving them a constant hug). They are not sweaty like nylons and just very stretchy and easier to put on. I always am sure to keep my calf spider veins compressed or else they get worse. I've been keeping my calves compressed all day and they are showing a lot of improvement. I wear these socks if I'm planning on taking it easy during the day and I'm not on my feet too much (because they don't cover my thigh veins).
I hope that my supplements are improving my vein health but now that I already have these ugly veins and I have the extra pressure on my veins because of pregnancy I feel that the compression is necessary to help my veins heal properly. My spider veins are actually getting much better... which is really saying something since I'm even further along in my pregnancy. The itchiness is also decreasing... I think it's that itch you feel when something is healing.