Pregnancy is a very exciting time and a very special situation for the female body. A new life is being born in the female body. This does not only result in feelings of sickness or new eating habits but it also affects the venous system. On the one hand, the hormone “progesterone” is released during pregnancy enabling an increase in the elasticity of body tissue, especially the womb. This characteristic , however, has a negative effect on the veins, as the hormone raises the absorption capacity for blood in the veins significantly, expands the venous walls and thus makes the return of venous blood from the legs to the heart more difficult. On the other hand, the blood vessels carry for nine months some 20% more blood than usual through the body to supply the womb and baby optimally. As pregnancy progresses the mobility of the mother decreases - and the legs will feel the effects immediately. The muscle pump is activated less often and typical complaints, such as tension and heaviness in the legs or also cramp in the calves may the result. Additionally, also pressure on the veins in the pelvic area as the baby gains weight increases and affects blood flow towards the heart.
Who is particularly at risk?
The risk of venous disease increases particularly in the case of women who have a hereditary susceptibility or who already prior to pregnancy suffered from venous disease. But also in the case of women where there has been till now no indication whatsoever, can pregnancy have unwanted consequences for the legs. Indeed, especially during pregnancy, it is important to counteract the strong physical and hormonal strain and not wait till after the birth. For it is as a consequence of pressure, weight and hormones that permanent damage to veins and venous valves can occur, which often without proper treatment results in chronic venous disease.
Tips for a care-free pregnancy:
- Wear support or medical compression stockings on a daily basis
- Avoid having to stand or sit for long periods of time
- Put your feet up as often as possible
- Avoid the heat. No long hours in the sun nor hot baths, no sauna
- Cool your legs in hot weather
- Enjoy a balanced diet
- Wear light comfortable clothing that doesn´t pinch
- Don´t wear high heel shoes
- Get regular exercise (swimming, walking, Nordic walking, vein exercises)