Postpartum care for new moms is essential in many ways. Not just from a physical standpoint, but also a mental one. First-time mothers especially can put their own needs to the side in favor of taking care of their baby.
While we can note many common post-partum issues a new mom might face (depression, nursing difficulties, clotting of the uterus, infections,) one that is less commonly addressed is postpartum vein health. Many lack basic knowledge that there could be an issue, despite the risk of blood clots remaining high for up to 12 weeks after birth.
So, what can a new mom do to reduce her risk of blood clots and vein disease after baby’s arrival?
- Exercise: Take it slow, but gradually increase activity to keep from overworking sensitive muscles during recovery.
- Sit in a healthy way: Keep your legs elevated when you can, as it helps keep the circulatory system operating in peak performance. Also, avoid crossing your legs.
- For leg pain and varicose veins, try compression stockings, which help blood circulate back to the heart.
- Be mindful of weight: Keeping weight in check can naturally alleviate extra pressure on the veins but do so healthfully and safely.
- Treat yourself to a massage: This induces relaxation and boosts circulation, which can help prevent venous disease, blood clots and varicose veins.
What should I keep an eye out for?
Some vein issues, like varicose veins, are nothing too serious and can be treated by following the above tips. But there are two more serious complications that can arise in the post-partum timeframe: Superficial Vein Thrombosis (SVT) and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
Superficial Vein Thrombosis is a blood clot in the surface of the leg veins. These causes irritation, some inflammation and pain. These are typically not life-threatening, but any pain experienced should be evaluated by a medical professional to be safe.
Deep Vein Thrombosis is a serious condition that demands immediate medical attention due to clotting of the deep veins in the legs. Sometimes, but not always, legs can feel sore and achy, even with some swelling. It is imperative that medical attention is sought if you believe you may have DVTs. You can significantly lower your risk with moderate exercise and elevation of the legs.
As a new mom, it is crucial that you be proactive about your health, and diligent about keeping up your overall health and wellbeing with good fitness and nutrition. You’ll want your body in good working order so that it can be there to support and help your new little one in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.
Learn more about pregnancy and vein disease.
Learn more about vein disease and its 8 warning signs.