Although they may occur at any time during pregnancy, headaches tend to be most common during the first and second trimesters.
Causes: Headaches may be caused by a surge in hormones along with an increase in blood volume and circulation that occur during the early stages. Other possible causes may involve lack of sleep, dehydration, low blood sugar, and stress.
- Studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for tension-related headaches as well as migraines. Acupuncture points are chosen based on the particular headache pattern experienced.
- Massage therapy can be very helpful in relieving muscle tension as well as stress, common causes of headaches.
Appearing most often on the legs, varicose veins are swollen, bluish veins that may bulge near the surface of the skin. Many women may first develop varicose veins or find that they get worse during pregnancy.
Causes: A combination of added pressure from the growing uterus, a surge in hormones, and increased blood volume all result in relaxation of the blood vessel walls as well as increased blood pressure in the leg veins. This can contribute to the development of varicose veins.
- Elevate your legs whenever possible.
- Use a stool to rest your legs on when you are sitting.
- Exercise daily to improve circulation.
- Eat a diet rich in bioflavonoids and vitamin C, which may help strengthen blood vessel walls to prevent bulging.
Stay tuned for my final post about the 3rd trimester!