Comfort Measures for Varicose Veins (updated July 2022)

comfort measures for varicose veins

How to find comfort through a pregnancy with varicose veins, my tips below!

About 28% of women will develop varicose veins in pregnancy. While they are mostly harmless in the short term they can cause pain and discomfort. Here are my recommendations and best comfort measures to try if you are dealing with varicose veins in pregnancy.

(See my first post on this topic to learn more about what and why Varicose Veins in Pregnancy.)

1. My top tip for you is to limit the amount of time you spend on your feet. 

Standing for long periods of time will make the symptoms worse and more painful. Sit, lie down and rest often if you can.

2. Wear your compression stockings! 

I will repeat because I know, I get it. I was the “too cool for school” girl who ignored this advice for not one, but almost two, whole pregnancies. WEAR YOUR COMPRESSION STOCKINGS. They’re hot, they’re embarrassing, they’re this or that, BUT I truly believe that if I would have worn mine as religiously as I do now, my varicosities would not have progressed as they did throughout my pregnancies. I order mine through I order the thigh high, maximum support and footless stockings (so I can still wear flip flops or just have the freedom of move my toes, haha.) You can scope out their website and find the support stockings for you.

3. Exercise. 

Get your blood pumping during low impact exercise. This helps your blood to circulate through your body. The blood that has pooled in those varicose veins gets an extra push to circulate back up to the heart. Swimming, walking or using an elliptical are all great ways to get that blood flowing!

4. Ice. 

This is a comfort measure I found that really helped shrink the veins and relieve my pain at the end of the day so I could sleep at night.

5. V-brace for labial, vulvar or vaginal varicose veins, a voodoo subject that no one understands or would just rather not discuss.

I honestly prefer to call them vaginal varicose veins because if anyone knows what a varicose vein is, that will put a real nice image in their head. 😉 Regardless of terminology, I have found comfort in the v-brace. They have also been called a fem-brace, or V supporter.

This wonderful little device is a glorified female jockstrap. Because that, lady friends, is what it looks like. There is no skirting around it. They add a little lace to the front to try to feminize it, which may or may not may you feel better about it. BUT it is a GODSEND.  I literally danced around the kitchen the night I got mine. I use this brace. It comes in different sizes and yes their catchphrase is, “It’s you babe.” Ugh. Can we please stop pretending this is some sexy thing! It does make me laugh, shake my head, but laugh.

6. Lean forward to relieve the uterine pressure off vulvar varicosities. 

If you haven’t tried this it may seem silly and especially hard to picture. When you have been standing or sitting for a long time, find something to lean on, whether that be a chair, table, wall or person. When you lean forward you are moving the pressure of your uterus and baby off your varicose veins giving you relief.

7. Yoga Ball/Birthing Ball/Exercise Ball.

This is a super easy, super cheap purchase that has many uses and is excellent to sit on during pregnancy. I got to a point where I could not sit for very long without having to tilt to one side, unless I was sitting on my yoga ball. I was reduced to three positions at the end: walking, laying on my side or sitting on my yoga ball. Add some rocking and bouncing and you are practicing some comfort techniques for the labor to come as well! It is also great for postpartum. Babes find comfort in the bouncing. The kids love to play with it and it is an exercise ball…so there’s that.

Whether this is your first pregnancy or you are a seasoned vet, I hope in reading this you either found new comfort strategies for dealing with varicose veins or maybe you found someone else who knows and understands your pain.

About Christie Collbran

Christie believes in helping women recognize their own inner wisdom, strength and power. Having served as President of the Tampa Bay Birth Network for six years and with ten years serving families as a birth doula, she has a reputation for leadership, dedication and compassion. A childbirth educator, certified lactation counselor as well as a certified doula, she makes a point of ensuring mothers and their partners understand all their birthing options and what to expect on their journey.> keep reading

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