Aggravated by Pregnancy
Before Heidi Harper had her first child five years ago, she had a "barely noticeable" bluish vein on the inside of one calf. But by the time her third child was born last summer, the vein was "a big, twirling, squiggly thing" that ran down the inside of both of her legs.
"It looked terrible," says the Summit, New Jersey, mom. "It didn't keep me from wearing shorts, but I was very self-conscious."
Harper's varicose veins -- a common condition in which large veins in the legs become enlarged and congested with blood -- are just one of many foot and leg problems that can occur during pregnancy. While some are temporary, others may stick around and progress.
So what causes these mysterious maladies, and what can you do about them? Here's what you need to know to give yourself a leg up now -- and after your baby is born.