Your pregnancy symptoms
Many women notice that they have varicose veins during the later stages of their pregnancy. Varicose veins are veins that have become swollen. They may be blue or dark purple, and are often lumpy, bulging or twisted in appearance. They can be uncomfortable but aren’t harmful. You may have noticed that you developed varicose veins during pregnancy, but most women find that these improve a lot after their baby is born.
However, there are other things that cause varicose veins, such as genetics (if varicose veins run in your family) and being overweight.
Varicose veins are rarely a serious condition and they do not usually require treatment. But speak to a GP if they are causing any pain, discomfort or irritation.
Any red skin, swelling or tenderness in the leg may also be a sign of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT isn’t common in pregnancy, but you are more likely to develop it than non-pregnant women of the same age. This needs immediate medical treatment. Contact your GP or call NHS 111 (NHS 24 in Scotland) straight away.
You’ll probably have an antenatal appointment this week. Your midwife or doctor should:
- use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
- measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
- offer your second anti-D treatment if you're rhesus negative (a blood type).
If you are at risk of giving birth early, it’s important to take care of yourself. There are also some things you can do to try and reduce the risk of giving birth early.
Tell your midwife or doctor if you have any symptoms that you are worried about. Do not worry if you've talked about it before and don't be concerned about whether you're wasting anyone's time. This is your pregnancy and it's important to trust your own instincts if you feel something isn't right.
You can also call the Tommy’s midwives on 0800 014 7800 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), or email us at [email protected].
Symptoms of early labour
Call your midwife or hospital maternity unit straight away if you think you are in early labour. It may be a false alarm, but it’s best to get checked out. Find out more about the symptoms of early labour.
Your mental health
If you have been told that you are at increased risk of giving birth early, it’s important to try and reduce stress and take care of your emotional health. Find out more about coping with the idea of a premature birth.