While spider veins can develop for many reasons, one of the most prominent is pregnancy. We know — pregnancy is already hard enough, and adding on the additional stress of newly-visible spider veins seems pretty unfair. Thankfully, we have good news on this front: spider veins resulting from pregnancy are often a short-term affliction. Once your body returns to normal, your spider veins should shrink back to a normal, less visible size, a process that usually takes around three or four months.

However, this isn’t always the case. Occasionally, spider veins will linger long after your pregnancy — and if you already have spider veins, it’s more than likely that a) those spider veins will stick around after your pregnancy, and b) you’ll develop more spider veins if you become pregnant again.

Fortunately, spider veins are usually a cosmetic issue rather than a health issue. If you develop spider veins during your pregnancy that remain after the pregnancy has passed, you should not be too concerned about their health consequences. That said, for some, visible spider veins are a cosmetic annoyance, and they’d rather not have them at all. Using our experience as vein specialists in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, we’ll cover why spider veins occur during pregnancy, what can be done about spider veins during pregnancy, and how to get rid of spider veins after pregnancy.

Why do you develop spider veins when you’re pregnant?

Simply put, pregnancy causes more blood to circulate through your veins. Additionally, hormonal changes during pregnancy can sometimes cause blood to pool up in your veins, leading to the creation of spider veins in various places on the body, such as your legs or your face. The development of these veins should not impact the development of the baby, but it may cause discomfort for you.

How do I stop spider veins during pregnancy?

There are a few steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of spider vein development.

The first is consuming more fiber. Constipation is a common condition during pregnancy, which in itself can lead to spider veins. Constipation causes you to exert excessive force during bowel movements, which puts additional pressure on superficial veins, which in turn can possibly lead to spider veins. By fighting constipation, you fight spider vein development. Good examples of high-fiber foods include fresh fruits and vegetables along with whole grains.

There is also some evidence that supplementing with Vitamin C will help stop the development of spider veins. Collagen and elastin are used in the body to maintain and repair veins, and if you take vitamin C, you help your body’s ability to produce and use them.

Exercise is also important in the prevention of spider vein development. Take regular walks or, if you can, runs — any exercise that works your legs will be good. When not exercising, try not to stand for long periods of time, and if you must, make sure you are shifting your weight frequently so blood continues to flow through your legs. When sitting, make an effort to not cross your legs, or — even better — elevate your legs so bloodflow returns to the heart. 

Speaking of blood flow, making sure your body can maintain proper blood flow also involves looking at what you wear. Specifically, tight clothes, or anything that puts pressure on your hips, waist, or legs, are a no-no. Try a looser fit for better comfort and blood flow.

If all else fails, take pleasure in knowing that most pregnancy-related spider veins are temporary. Plus, if some develop, we’ve previously compiled a list of a few ways your can go about hiding your unsightly veins.

How do I get rid of my pregnancy-related spider veins?

As previously stated, often, these things will take care of themselves. Don’t panic — give yourself about six months after your pregnancy before you look seriously at taking steps to remove your spider veins.

That said, sometimes, these things become permanent. Luckily, vein treatments have changed a lot in the past decade, and now, taking care of unsightly veins is easier than ever! If you’re in the Wisconsin area, reach out to us on our contact page, and we’ll work with you to find the best treatment for you.