Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Week 16

Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his weight and add inches to his length. Right now, he's about the size of ab avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. His legs are much more developed, his head is more erect than it has been, and his eyes have moved closer to the front of his head. His ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his scalp has begun, though his locks aren't recognizable yet. He's even started growing toenails. And there's a lot happening inside as well. For example, his heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.

I went to my OB last week. They have watching my cervical length and my placenta is low. Well length is good and the placenta moved up. I was so happy with that.
My only complaint I have is my legs hurt, I have varicose veins. My OB said I should think about getting support stockings.
I am still tired at night but do have more energy during the day. I feel pretty good.

What varicose veins during pregnancy are:

The large, swollen blood vessels found predominantly in the legs, but that can show up almost anywhere in the lower half of your body. (In fact, hemorrhoids are nothing more than varicose veins in the area around your rectum — but at least you don't have to look at those.) When they swell above the surface of the skin, they create those distinctive purplish bulges women love to hate.

What causes varicose veins during pregnancy?
The extra volume of blood you produce during pregnancy is essential to support two growing bodies. It does, however, put extra pressure on your blood vessels, especially the veins in your legs, which have to work against gravity to push all that extra blood back up to your heart. Add to that the pressure your burgeoning uterus puts on your pelvic blood vessels, and the vessel-relaxing effects of the extra progesterone your body is producing, and you have the perfect recipe for varicose veins.

What you need to know about varicose veins during pregnancy?

You may not like the way varicose veins look (who would?), and they may itch or ache, but they're unlikely to put either you or your baby at any risk. The good news is that in most cases, if you didn't have them before you got pregnant, your varicose veins shrink or disappear altogether within a few months after you give birth. The not-so-good news? If you have another baby, there's no way of preventing varicose veins that time around (the same veins are likely to pop out again). And like many other pregnancy symptoms, including stretch marks, varicose veins tend to be hereditary. If your mother had them during pregnancy, you're more likely to have them, too.

There is some remote risk that a varicose vein could become inflamed, possibly indicating a blood clot, so be sure to keep your practitioner informed and aware of your varicose veins.

What to do about varicose veins during pregnancy?

Preventing varicose veins isn't a perfect science, but these tips can definitely help:

Keep the blood circulating. Get off your feet whenever you can, and keep your legs elevated when sitting. When standing, put one foot on a low stool and alternate legs. Flex your ankles every so often, and break the habit of sitting with your legs crossed (this strategy will also help keep spider veins at bay).

Exercise is key in preventing varicose veins. Take a walk (or even better still, several walks) each day, or do some other form of low-key, circulation-increasing exercises.

Make sure you wear clothes — including underwear — that fit well and don't bind, especially around the tops of your legs. Don't wear tight belts or socks with tight elastic tops, and stay away from tight-fitting shoes and stiletto heels (as if you could balance in them anyway).

One kind of tight that's helpful though: support hose, which can counteract the downward pressure of your belly and give the veins in your legs a little extra upward push. Put them on before you get out of bed in the morning to prevent the blood from pooling. (Okay, not your sexiest pregnancy moment!)

Keep your weight gain during pregnancy down to what your practitioner recommends. Extra poundage only increases the demands on your already overworked circulatory system.Sleep on your left side to avoid pressure on your main blood vessels, and keep circulation going strong.

Don't strain. Heavy lifting or straining on the toilet can add to vein visibility.

Get your daily dose of vitamin C from your balanced diet, which keeps veins healthy.

If the veins don't go away after the baby has arrived, you can think about having them medically treated or surgically removed then — but not during pregnancy.

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