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Varicose veins during pregnancy

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Varicose or enlarged veins usually occur in your lower legs but may extend into the pelvic area. 

They are caused by your enlarged uterus, which presses on the abdominal veins and interferes with the return of blood from your legs.

Varicose veins usually shrink and disappear during the first few weeks after the baby is born.

You can help prevent varicose veins by:

  • Not wearing tight garters, stockings, or socks.
  • Not standing in one place for long periods of time. If your job requires you to stand, walk around at break time to improve circulation
  • Sitting down and putting your feet up for a few minutes
  • Not crossing your legs or sitting with the pressure of a chair under your knees
  • Taking frequent rest stops while traveling and walking around
  • Wearing support hose

If you have varicose veins or swelling in your legs, lie on a bed, couch, or floor and raise your feet and legs up 6 to 12 inches, resting your heels against the wall. Lie in this position for 2 to 5 minutes several times a day. ​

If you have severe varicose veins, you may be advised to wear elastic stockings during the day. Put them on before you get out of bed in the morning – before your veins become swollen with blood. Take them off just before you go to bed.

If you have varicose veins around your vaginal area, try to take frequent rest periods. Lie down with a pillow under your buttocks. This position elevates your hips and should give you some relief. Cool packs may also provide relief.