Those blue, bulging veins that creep up the legs of some pregnant women are called varicose veins. They are generally just a cosmetic concern; however, for some women, they can cause aching pain and discomfort.
Varicose veins that appear during pregnancy are caused by the increased pressure on your pelvic veins, due to your growing uterus and baby. Some women may develop them during childbirth as the high pressure exerted during pushing. All this extra pressure makes it difficult for your body to pump the blood from your legs back up to your heart, so it ends up pooling in your lower legs. But before you resign yourself to wearing long pants the rest of your life, there are a few things you can do to prevent them:
Wear support hose – Pull on a pair of support stockings to apply pressure to the veins and keep them from bulging outwards.
Stay hydrated – Drink your eight glasses of water a day (at least) to help prevent varicose veins.
Elevate your legs – Whenever you get a chance, sit down and put your feet up. This helps gravity by encouraging the blood to flow back out of your legs.
Don’t cross your legs – When you are sitting, keep your legs uncrossed and elevate them slightly by resting them on stacked books or a box.
Don’t stand still – Avoid standing for long periods of time. If you must stand, shift your weight from one foot to the other every few minutes.
Stay fit – Be sure to get in your 30 minutes of low-impact exercise several times a week. Activities that strengthen your legs (like walking) will improve circulation and vein strength.