If you are experiencing signs of vein disease, as a new or breastfeeding mom, you might need varicose vein treatment. But is this the right time? Your leg pain, ankle/leg swelling and ropy varicose veins are probably harder on you now than ever. You may even have varicose vines for the first time during pregnancy and after giving birth. As a nursing mom, you plan every activity around maintaining your newborn’s health–and potential vein treatment is no exception.  If you have treatment now, will “pumping and dumping” for a few days be needed, (or sufficient), to keep your milk safe for your baby? While our vascular treatments are minimally invasive with little downtime, we generally advise against treatment when you are breastfeeding.

Why Wait for Vein Treatment if You’re Breastfeeding?

Here are the main reasons to postpone vein procedures:

  • Varicose veins could go away on their own: Pregnancy weight and hormonal changes during the pregnancy and breastfeeding period can cause new varicose veins to appear temporarily–even if you never had them before. So waiting for vein care might make perfect sense for you, because in the long run, you may not need it once the excess pressure on your leg and lower body veins subside.
  • Veins could recur: If you’re planning on having another baby, you might choose to wait for treatment of vein disease, in case the next pregnancy brings more new varicose veins. (However, this is not a hard-and-fast rule, because today’s vein procedures are relatively simple to repeat, if needed, in later years.)
  • Your spider veins might be on the chest/breast area. You will likely want to wait to treat these veins.
  • You may be more pain-sensitive at this time. Although our procedures are typically not considered painful, hormonal levels often affect nerves/pain sensors. You could potentially swell or bleed more than normal, for a longer recovery period after the procedure.
  • Certain substances may pass to breast milk. There aren’t many concrete studies, so only the most natural and benign materials can be used for treatment.

We suggest using conservative treatments and practicing self-care to alleviate current vein problems. Try to sleep on your left side (placing a pillow behind you, so you won’t roll over). This reduces pressure on the inferior vena cava that transports blood up from the legs. Prescription compression stockings can also help.

Get Personalized Advice on Varicose Veins and Breastfeeding in Nashville

If you’re still considering varicose vein treatment during the time you’re nursing your baby, we may be able to move forward by making some adjustments for you. Ultrasound for diagnosis, if needed, won’t affect breast milk. If you need sclerotherapy, for example, we could use a saline-based solution. Laser treatment should be ok at this time, too, provided we choose the shortest acting anesthetic.  Based upon your goals and medical history, we can provide recommendations on well-timed vein care for you. Contact Siragusa Vein & Laser in Nashville today.

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