Arya was shopping for baby clothes when she ran into Priya, her college friend.
“PRIYA!” Arya called, wincing as she tried to walk towards Priya. Thankfully, Priya heard her and turned right around.
“Arya! Oh my, congratulations!” She said, eyeing Arya’s heavily pregnant stomach as she came closer.
“Thank you! It’s been so long — do you have some time to chat?” Arya asked, smiling but still clearly in pain from walking towards Priya.
“Sure! Do you need to sit down? You seem like you’re in pain.” Priya led them both to an empty table in the nearby food court.
“It’s these bluish-purple veins on my legs that hurt. They’re so annoyingly itchy and uncomfortable. I didn’t even know this would be something I would have to face!” Arya grumbled as she gently lowered herself into a chair.
“Oh, those are varicose veins. I had them when I was pregnant too, both times.” Priya said before she continued. “It’s because the volume of the blood in your body has increased because of the baby. Your veins are getting enlarged and swollen, that’s why they’re so painful.”
“Yes. My gynaecologist said there were two main reasons. First, we have more progesterone in our bodies when we are pregnant. This hormone relaxes blood vessel walls so it’s easier for them to swell with excess blood.”
“What’s the second reason?” Arya asked.
“Your uterus also puts pressure on your inferior vena cava — this is the vein that carries blood from the legs back to the heart.” Priya paused. “It’s on the right side of our bodies, so your right leg must have more varicose veins, right?”
“You’re absolutely right.” said Arya, surprised. “What did your doctor tell you to do about them?”
“She told me to improve my blood circulation. I went for walks every day and kept my feet elevated on pillows and cushions when I was sitting down at home. I also did some easy leg exercises.”
“Okay, I’ll do that too!” Arya promised. “Do you still have varicose veins?”
“Not as much! They go away a few months after your pregnancy and are very manageable if you exercise regularly for good blood flow.” Priya explained. “You can also wear compression stockings to help compress your veins — they will certainly help. Here I’ll tell you where I got mine from.” Priya thought carefully for a moment. “Wait! You should probably get the SitWalker instead. My doctor told me about it when I told her I didn’t like wearing the tight stockings all day.”
“SitWalker? What’s that?”
“It’s this simple device that helps you stimulate walking while you’re seated. I got one during my second pregnancy and it worked so much better than the stockings! My varicose veins got better and I continue to use it to this day because it’s great for blood circulation.” said Priya.
“Oh wow, I should probably look into that then! Thanks! You have been a great help!” Arya said.
“No problems, that’s what are friends for! Also, please go and get your varicose veins checked. Sometimes they can turn into deep vein thrombosis[NC1] , so you shouldn’t risk it. It worries me that your varicose veins pain so much.”
“I will go tomorrow itself. I think it is because I stand so much and don’t exercise as needed. But I will start exercising and walking every day from today.” Arya assured her.
Pregnancy and weight gain during pregnancy can lead to additional pressure on your leg veins’ blood vessels causing varicose veins. Walking, exercising, elevating your legs, and/or using devices like the SitWalker can improve blood flow, reducing varicose veins. The SitWalker, presents no discomfort and is extremely simple to use. It has shown better results and promotes good blood circulation by simulating walking even when the individual is seated.
[NC1]Link to article on DVT.