Anyone can develop varicose and spider veins at any time, but pregnant women are especially prone to them. This is particularly true if their mothers and grandmothers had them. While there is no surefire way to prevent them, maintaining healthy circulation can help. Unfortunately, because there is a whole other person depending on your blood to thrive, circulation can slow during those nine months. However, there are some things you can do to improve it. Of course, always consult with your doctor before making any major lifestyle changes during your pregnancy.
With your doctor’s permission, you should continue your exercise routine throughout your pregnancy, as long as it’s not extreme. If you don’t have a routine, increasing your cardiovascular exercise to at least 30 minutes a day can improve your circulation. Go for a walk or a swim — it’s that simple!
2. Spice up your diet.
Spices like cayenne pepper and ginger may also help improve blood flow, so add them to your meals as much as you can tolerate. Just be careful, as some spicy foods have been known to induce labor. If you don’t want to add these to your diet, consider taking them in supplement form.
3. Get a weekly massage.
Want to get your blood flowing without putting in the work? Get a weekly massage. This can also help reduce your stress levels.
4. Avoid sitting all day.
Whether you travel often or spend long days at a desk at work, sitting for long periods can decrease circulation even if you aren’t pregnant. If you do sit for more than an hour at a time, try to take a break and walk around and stretch. Alternatively, if you stand all day at work, take a load off for 5 minutes every hour.
5. Avoid tight clothing.
It may be tempting to show off that you can still fit into those non-maternity jeans, but tight clothing can restrict the blood flow in your body. Opt for comfortable maxi dresses instead of skinny jeans and give up the heels for flats and sandals. This goes for underwear, pantyhose, and even socks, as well.
6. Wear compression stockings.
Compression stockings are notorious for improving circulation, and they can be especially helpful if you are on bedrest or you have to sit or stand for long periods at work. Talk to your doctor about whether or not they are right for you. You can typically buy them in any drug store, and many maternity clothing stores sell them, as well.
7. Change your sleeping position.
Finding a comfortable sleeping position when you’re pregnant is hard enough, but did you know some of them can even lead to poor circulation? Ideally, you should sleep on your left side to increase and help with blood flow. It also helps prevent swelling. There are many cushions and pillows on the market aimed at helping pregnant women get a good night’s sleep, so consider buying one so that you can sleep on your left side with ease.
Sometimes, all it takes is a little stretching to help get your blood flowing in the right direction. Look into yoga or stretching tutorials for pregnant women, and consider making it part of your daily routine.