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Pregnancy: Varicose Veins and Swelling of the Feet…

Varicose Veins and Swelling of the Feet

During pregnancy, your legs and feet might swell. This is sometimes termed Oedema.
The blood veins in your legs may swell, too, this is termed varicose veins.
Hormones produced in pregnancy cause blood vessels to relax, resulting in a pooling effect around the valves. It is exacerbated by the extra weight in pregnancy.

Take a good look at you Mum’s legs and it might be a glimpse into the future for your own legs, but be reassured there are a number of tips here that can help you minimize swelling and veins.

Some women with varicose veins in their legs, who suffer with hemorrhoids may also experience vulval variscosities, which are the same type of veins; swollen and uncomfortable around the vulval area around the vaginal entrance, if this is a concern take a mirror and have a look in a well lit bathroom or bedroom and then discuss it with your midwife, or doctor.


Here are some tips to relieve swelling of the feet and varicose veins:

Rest and sleep with legs elevated a little, propped up on a pillow

Wear support stockings, which can be purchased from the supermarket or department stores,

Do regular exercise such as walking, swimming, yoga, Pilates and belly dancing to promote good healthy circulation

Massage the throbbing veins with a small amount of cypress oil diluted in apricot kernel oil

Lie on the floor with legs propped up against the wall. For at least 30 minutes to boost circulation away from blocked veins refer to New Active Birth book by Janet Balaskas for the yoga positions to relieve swelling and many other discomforts of pregnancy

Do some form of relaxation therapy, such as calmbirth

Take vitamin E supplements and/or vitamin C with bioflavonoids under the qualified guidance of a naturopathic practitioner or nutritionist

Visit your Chiropractor or Osteopath for suitable adjustments and guidance with posture, when sitting and standing, they will provide you with assistance on how to minimize the severity and discomfort


Try not to stand or sit in one place for a long time. Get up and walk around regularly

Wear flat shoes with well padded comfortable soles

When you sit, put your feet up on a low stool or box

Wear loose comfortable clothing avoid anything too tight or restrictive

try eating rockmelon, watermelon, cucumber and celery

If there is swelling in your face and hands let your midwife know.

Taking “water pills” or “fluid tablets” are not safe during pregnancy, for more information discuss with your Pharmacist or midwife or doctor.

Be reassured that the fluid will disappear in the first days or weeks after the baby is born.

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