Mommy Blog Expert: 6 Doctor's Tips for Pregnant & New Moms Good Health During Winter Cold & Flu Season

Monday, January 21, 2013

6 Doctor's Tips for Pregnant & New Moms Good Health During Winter Cold & Flu Season


With the flu season already upon us, if you are now pregnant or mothering a newborn at home, it's more important than ever to consider the critical role circulation plays in keeping yourself healthy during these cold winter months. Even without lower temperatures, pregnancy followed by long hours on your feet day and night with your baby can contribute to the formation of painful varicose veins forming as a result of lack of circulation in the legs.

Image from Dr. Navarro
Cold weather complicates things still further, causing circulation issues to multiply. In fact, when temperatures drop, the body reduces blood flow to the extremities, as a way to keep the blood in the main arteries of the body nearest vital organs. This often causes cold hands and feet, making flu season even more difficult and uncomfortable for you and your newborn to get through.

Womens' varicose veins can be unsightly and painful, Image  from Dr. Navarro
To combat these health concerns affecting both pregnant and new mothers -- particularly during the coldest season we are now experiencing -- Dr. Luis Navarro, Director of The Vein Treatment Center, suggests some easy and effective ways to optimize blood circulation.
  • GET REGULAR EXERCISE. Any type of exercise that strengthens the "second heart" - the muscles of the calf and foot - is beneficial. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week.
  • WEAR GRADUATED COMPRESSION STOCKING. Compression stockings act like an added layer of muscle, aiding the performance of the "second heart" and venous circulation.  
  • MONITOR HORMONE INTAKE. Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy constrict blood vessels and can weaken vein valves and vein walls.
  • AVOID PROLONGED PERIODS OF SITTING AND STANDING. Rotate your ankles and feet whenever possible, walk for at least 10 minutes every hour, and point and flex your toes to promote leg vein circulation.
  • ELEVATE YOUR FEET. Raise your feet 6 to 12 inches above your heart whenever possible to assist circulation. 
  • EAT A HIGH FIBER & LOW SALT DIET. Salt retains water and constipation puts pressure on the venous system. 
Luis Navarro, M.D., Image from Dr. Navarro
About Dr. Navarro
Luis Navarro, M.D., M.D., FACS, is the Founder and Medical Director of The Vein Treatment Center, established in 1982. Dr. Navarro is a Diplomat of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American College of Phlebology, International Union of Phlebology, Canadian Society of Phlebology, American Society of Laser Medicine, and numerous other venous-related societies.

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