How to lose your baby weight in ONE week!

Hi! Congratulations on becoming a new mommy!

Since you are reading this I’m sure you can relate to every other woman who’s given birth. Once baby arrives we look at our bodies and say “what the freak happened?!”

The moment you realize the baby weight you had gained was not “all baby”, makes you start questioning your friends who told you that. It doesn’t matter if you gained 20 pounds or 80 pounds our bodies change and once the excitement of the new baby dies down we want it fixed… now!

Well, I’m going to tell you how to lose it all in one week!

Just kidding, I’m not.

Wait, what?

Not the answer you’re looking? Here’s the dilio, social media is setting a standard for women to shed their baby weight in ungodly amounts of time and frankly I’m getting fed up with it.

Everywhere you look there are fit moms galore. It’s amazing, I love it! But what I don’t love is the pressure it puts on new mom’s who are pregnant or who have recently delivered.

First and foremost before I continue, let me just say, I don’t judge other moms when it comes to their choices on fitness and nutrition. I think it’s wonderful women set goals and push themselves to accomplish them.

That said; no pregnancy is the same, no birth is the same, no woman is the same, no situation is the same. I hope you’re getting my drift.

I do not want to cause any hurt feelings, so I will be referring to myself and my experiences. I’m no expert but I’ve done this a few times; four births and six pregnancies (two miscarriages) I do know a little.

My experience, I know I’m not alone on this.
After having Gatlin, baby number three, I took about 7 months off from training. My husband Josh and I had just purchased our gym and ironically owning a gym actually made it harder to find time to workout. I was breastfeeding, Gatlin had colic and Josh was training for a bodybuilding competition.

I chose not to stress about missed workouts or ones that never happened. I was also very worried about reducing my breastmilk supply. At one week old we had to give Gatlin formula and he was allergic. I was determined to pump for a full year. So I held off to really “hit it” until after my husband did his competition.

November came; I was 8 months postpartum, Gatlin’s bout with colic was over and it was my turn to get in shape. I set a goal to compete in March. Using my own knowledge along with Josh’s guidance, I was a woman on a mission and starting slowly back into it.

Fast forward 4 months later I accomplished what I set out to do. I stepped on stage bringing the best ME I could.

A few weeks before I stepped on stage I posted a picture that went viral on social media. It is below with the caption I added with it.

Cody Lawyer pregnancy

The picture that went viral.

“One year ago today I stood in my kitchen cooking breakfast for my family…. with little Gatlin in my big belly lol! At the time the only thing on my mind was having a healthy baby boy. The next day he made his arrival (these pics are exactly 1 year apart).
After delivery my focus was NOT to lose weight or get in shape as fast as I could. My goal was to pump (breastmilk) for my baby for a full year. By doing this I knew I couldn’t cut calories… they were up in the 3000 range. So I took advantage of the hormones my body was producing naturally to build some muscle….which obviously worked out for both baby and I.
Now here I am 17 days out from my very first competition. I have NEVER had abs in my life!… and the best part about it is Gatlin still has his breast milk!
Hard work pays off… set goals and hold yourself accountable. Compare yourself to no one else but YOU. Make no excuses! Gatlin is still a horrible sleeper, he wakes up 2-3 times a night STILL! I’m tired, I have older kids I tend to also, and own a gym (owning it actually makes it harder to workout!) It may take you longer than a year… but my point is if you really want results you CAN get results. ♥”
The Pressure is ON!
Months passed, Josh and I decided to add a fourth and final baby to complete our family.I was determined to stay fit and healthy my entire pregnancy. I wanted to workout and eat right from start to finish. I even did a photo shoot for Muscle & Fitness Hers at 14 weeks pregnant. I wanted so badly to set a good positive example for other women.
Featured in Muscle & Fitness Hers, Fit Housewives of Arizona at 14 weeks pregant.

Featured in Muscle & Fitness Hers, Fit Housewives of Arizona at 14 weeks pregnant.

My inbox was flooded with other moms wanting to know my secrets, also wanting know if I would bounce back immediately after having my baby. I constantly received comments like “you’ll be back in no time”, “you’ll leave the hospital with abs”.

I had A LOT to live up to!

I thought I had it all figured out. I didn’t change my training much I just lightened the weight.

At 17 weeks pregnant I did a quick leg workout. Afterwards Josh and I went to get an ultrasound of our baby. We were beyond excited to find out the sex.

Laying on the table we found out two things. 1. We were having a boy. 2. I was getting contractions right below my placenta. The first news was exciting, the second was actually frightening.

I would “cramp” after every workout for a few hours. They always went away so I didn’t think much of it but seeing the contractions and having two premature births (28 and 32 weeks) it scared the bejezzus out of me.

I decided to stop all training except stretching. I wasn’t going to risk the health of my baby.

Mentally that was a huge blow. My plans and goals were not going to happen. I would never compromise the health and well being of my baby. However, the pressure I had to “bounce back” was still there.

Setting new goals.
The pressure to get fit was stronger than ever. So I set new goals. I decided I’d wait until after I had Bostin THEN once I felt good I’d dive back in and be ripped with abs as soon as possible.Delivery was fairly easy on my body. I felt pretty good so things were looking up.I should have known better.

Even though my delivery was smooth, I dealt with postpartum hemorrhaging for 3 months after delivery. This took so much out of me but thanks to breastfeeding my period stopped for several months. Hallelujah!!

On top of that I seemed to have all odds against me….
— My husband was working 2 full time jobs. 124 hours a week as a firefighter/paramedic
— I went back to running our gym one week after delivery. With BOTH babies.
— Bostin was a horrible sleeper he woke up at least 4 times a night.
— I was pumping (breastmilk) so I had to get up every 3 hours.
— Gatlin was having a hard time adjusting to the new baby. So when Bostin did nap I gave that attention to Gatlin.
— Talon and Camryn, my older kids, were both is school and sports so I prioritize those first.
— Any spare time was used to train clients.
— I literally had no time or energy.

These are not excuses. These are the things I chose to prioritize and what my schedule allowed.

So once again 7 months flew by and I hadn’t really worked out. I was fortunate to manage my weight and shed baby fat through diet and tracking my macros.

Again, I decided to build my food intake up so when I decided to lean down I’d have a good start and not have to diet so extreme.

I was successful. I got my numbers very high, I was at 500g carbs, 90g fats, 120g protein. Eating about 80% whole foods and 20% whatever else I wanted. I was weighing 112-114 pounds.

The Straw that Broke the Camels Back.
January came and bodybuilding.com was putting on their 12 week 200k Transformation Challenge.I have always wanted to do one of their challenges. It was the perfect motivation and opportunity to really get back on track. Who isn’t motivated by $200,000!?I was still pumping breastmilk so I didn’t want to go to crazy. I kept my food intake the same but started weight training 3-4 days a week. I kept my workouts around 45 mins and lifted heavy.

Body fat started melting off fast! I was on cloud nine!!

Of course with the shift in hormones, my periods came back with a vengeance. Lasting 2 weeks and I was going through 2-3 packs of overnight pads. Ain’t nobody got time for dat!

It started about a week into working out again. Along with the periods I was getting horrible migraines almost daily.

I ran into my OBGYN at the grocery store and we got to chatting about training and working out. I mentioned the issues with my periods and migraines. He said it could possibly be from the hormones produced while breastfeeding.

Stopping breastfeeding wasn’t an option. I really wanted Bostin to get breastmilk for a full year. Even though I had a huge milk supply and freezer full of milk I was starting to become concerned about Bostin’s nutrition. He was starting to eat solid foods and drank as much milk as he wanted, at 7 months old he was only 13 pounds.

After weeks and weeks of going back and forth I decided to supplement breastmilk with formula to see if he’d gain more weight. He did wonderful with both!

I was still pushing hard with the 200k Challenge. I was determined!

Week 6 into the bodybuilding.com Challenge I was feeling like death. I set up an appointment with my OBGYN to get the Novasure Ablation and Tubal Ligation procedures done. I knew I was done having babies so I wanted my periods gone for good!

Two days before my surgery I received an email that I was the week 6 challenge winner! The challenge I won was for before and afters up until that point. This was super exciting! I did not expect to win this at all.

bodybuilding.com Cody Lawyer

Bodybuilding.com week 6 challenge winner.

I also decided to stop pumping breastmilk completely. It was a hard decision but I knew my body couldn’t handle it anymore.

I knew the surgery would have me down from working out for a week or two. But I was so excited to finally feel good again! I set a goal to continue to eat healthy so my progress I had made physically wouldn’t all go out the window. As soon as my body was healed I’d get right back on track.

After the procedure I actually started feeling worse.

My periods were gone, but everything else seemed to go crazy.

Some of my symptoms:
Weight fluctuations from water retention 15-20 pounds.
Hair loss
Cold/ night sweats
Fatigue/insomnia
Emotional
Constipation
Nausea/Vomit for no reason
Increase hair on face
Hair loss in pubic area and armpits
Extremely oily hair to the point it’s causing acne on my scalp

Constantly sick

Migraines

Virtigo

Just to name a few things….

I went in for my two week post surgery follow up with my doctor. Everything “looked” good but I mentioned to him how horrible I was feeling and that my symptoms had actually gotten worse.
To spare every little detail I’ll give you a brief run down of what happened. We checked my thyroid levels and they were clearly off. I then went to see my PCP to follow up with him and to have more test done. My labs were not your normal results, they were mixed showing both Hyperthyroid and Hypothyroid. This lead him to believe it wasn’t stemming from my thyroid alone, but from my pituitary gland.
From February through May I had several different blood tests. A brain MRI to check for a pituitary adenoma, and a ACTH stimulation test to check my adrenal glands and cortisol levels.
I was emotionally and physically drained at this point.
I tried my best and followed through with the 200K transformation challenge because quitting was not an option. I knew I wouldn’t win but I was not going to give up.
After months of testing my doctor and I decided to start thyroid medication for Hypothyroidism. This was pretty much the root of all my medical problems since the day I gave birth. It just took me a year to figure it all out.
What I’m Getting At
I truly feel this was something my body was fighting before I even got pregnant with Bostin. I was experiencing symptoms during pregnancy that I thought were caused from hypoglycemia.
Ladies listen to your body. Don’t cave to the pressures we see daily on social media. (I know I am guilty!) It’s awesome you have that drive to get fit after having a baby. If you have had a cesarean or episiotomy obviously doing any exercise movements can be painful, and actually cause more irritation. Just be patient with your body and if it is giving you warning signs, listen!
Believe me I tried. I busted my booty in the gym, and in the kitchen. I was so angry with myself and with my body. I felt the body I had taken care of had now betrayed me. To top it off, I felt like a failure seeing pictures of new moms rocking abs  that had given birth just weeks prior.
I am currently thirteen months postpartum, I am slowly getting where I want to be. It might take me another year or two, but I will get there. In the meantime, I am going to continue to enjoy my little ones. They are only little once and is time with them is irreplaceable. It’s all about balance and what works for you. ❤
Cody Lawyer Kids

My babies ❤

Thank you for reading,
Cody Lawyer
The Protein Princess
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Postpartum Diastasis Recti – How it affects working out

Among the many changes our bodies go through while pregnant, many of us moms experience Ab Seperation. Also know as Diastasis Recti.  It’s very common,  two out of three pregnant women experience this.

So what exactly is Diastasis Recti?
Basically that fancy word means your belly sticks out because the space between your left and right abdominal muscles has widened. You might call it a “pooch.” When the ab muscles move aside like this, the uterus, bowels, and other organs have only a thin band of connective tissue in front to hold them in place.

I was lucky enough to be one of the 2 women that get it. (Insert sarcasm) 😉 Here is a collage picture of what abdominal muscles look like prior to pregnancy.  And what they look like when Diastasis Recti has occurred. The bottom part of the picture is my abdomen 9 months postpartum after baby #4. First picture I’m leaning back and you can see the bulge in the middle.  Second picture I’m flexing holding that bulge in.

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Many women have emailed me regarding this. I am not a doctor, but have spoke with several regarding Diastasis Recti. I have also had four pregnancies where I’ve experienced seperation each time. Every situation is different so I will share what worked best for me. Below I will go over a few questions women have asked.

“Can I still train my abs?”

I personally feel it depends on how serious the seperation is. Postpartum I would wait at least 6-9 weeks to allow your uterus to shrink back down.  At your postpartum check up talk about it with your doctor.
I never train abs. I focus on keeping my core tight with every exercise I do. But never do anything with direct pressure on my abdomen. I also have a few minor hernias so direct pressure causes pain.
I have known women that actually cause more damage by doing abdominal exercises.  Especially when adding weight. If you have a large gap any pressure is going to cause it to grow wider, essentially causing more of a “pooch”.

“Will the seperation ever go away?”

Chances are, it won’t completely close without surgery to repair it. (*note: there are a few techniques available too. They are nonsurgical. The Tubler Technique and Mutu, I’m not familiar with either and have read mixed reviews so you may look into them yourself.) However it will narrow and sometimes become unnoticeable.  Depending on how lean your body is you may not see it at all.  Below is a picture of me at my leanest,  you can see the gap down the middle.  It’s not terribly bad, but with time it has grown closer together.

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Tips on dealing with Diastasis Recti-

⚫ Focus on practicing good posture.  Good posture will strengthen your back and core muscles. Allowing you to hold everything in better. Not to mention good posture makes you look like you lost 5-10lbs instantly!  (Try it!)

⚫ When starting to exercise remember less is more. 1 myth is that working abs will give you an amazing 6-pack. This is untrue.  Weight loss and loosing body fat is what make abs show.

⚫ Start slow, test the waters so to speak. Start with movements like seated movements (pictured below) and planking that don’t put direct pressure on your abdominals. You may feel fine during your workout but feel pain later. Remember there is a difference between soreness and pain caused from your muscles seperating more.

Here are a few core exercises to try.
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⚫ Protect your core and back. During workouts while lifting heavy I always wear a belt. It helps hold everything in while giving support.  Don’t just rely on the belt though keep that core tight!

Happy Training!

The Protein Princess
Cody Lawyer ❤

25 Days Postpartum

Well I’m 25 days postpartum and we’re all adjusting wonderfully to baby Bostin. It took Gatlin a little while to decide if he liked the new baby in the house but after 3 weeks everyday gets better and better. This was my main priority after delivery, it wasn’t to lose weight or start working out immediately postpartum. It was to make sure my babies (all 4) are happy. Oh and to establish a good milk supply… I’m pumping about 72 oz a day!!

SO that being said… IT’S TIME! 

My starting weight: 118lbs
Day of Delivery: 142lbs
25 days postpartum: 125lbs

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I’m ready! It’s been a long 26 weeks without working out. Many of you know I had to stop working out at 17 weeks pregnant because it was causing me to contract.  No matter how much water I drank or changed up my routines I still got contractions. This was somewhat devastating to me because I so badly wanted to continue working out throughout my pregnancy. But ultimately sometimes working out isn’t what is best for your body and baby. 

It’s exciting and kinda scary jumping back in. I’m like “what do I want to workout first?”…”Should I do one body part or hit everything?”… either way I’m going to be SO Sore!!! Lol! I’ve lost a lot of muscle so once I get into a routine I’m going to focus on building it back up.

After a lot of thought… my first workout will be at home. No pressure,  on my time, and definitely nothing to crazy. I know myself and if I go to my gym I’ll over do it.  I won’t be doing any direct ab movements.  My abs are trashed, I have horrible ab separation and they are sore and tender. I also have a hernia. So anything directly putting pressure on my abs could cause more damage than good.

HERE is my 1st Postpartum Workout:

★ Stretch… Stretch… Stretch!
● 5 min warm up on treadmill, fast speed walk to warm up my muscles.

● 25 body weight squats
● 10 jumping jacks
● 20 bicep curls (using dumbbells or resistance bands)
● 10 Standing Shoulder Press
● 20 alternating lunges (each leg)
● 10 push ups
● 10 body weight tricep dips (using chair)
● 10 Burpees

★ Repeat 2-3 times

My preworkout/Intraworkout mix is…
1 scoop ProSupps Karbolic strawberry popsicle
1 serving ProSupps Liquid Aminos PSXXIII Berry Flavor

Why you should SQUAT instead of Kegels!

Why you should be doing Squats instead of Kegels during pregnancy.

Whether you’re pregnant or not one of the most important muscles to strengthen is your pelvic muscles. In a nutshell this is because your pelvic floor is under all your organs, and during pregnancy the extra weight of your baby. Having a strong pelvic floor during delivery helps tremendously with labor and delivery as well as recovery.

One of the main side effects (not just from childbirth) of a weak pelvic floor is urinary incontinence. About one in four women suffer from urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine when sneezing, coughing, or laughing. And even more have what’s called “urgency incontinence” when the urge to urinate is so strong that you fear you won’t get to the bathroom in time. In order to prevent this kind of urinary problem, you have to develop strong buttocks (glute) muscles and get in touch with your pelvic floor. We always hear how we should practice our kegels especially while pregnant.

I know this goes against everything we as women have been taught. When in fact kegels can actually make pelvic floor disorder worse in some cases. The Kegels strengthen the PC (pubococcygeous) muscle, which closes the sphincters of the pelvic floor and stops the flow of urine. Kegels are a step in the right direction. But they don’t address the function of the entire pelvic floor, they strengthen only one muscle. A strong, rigid muscle isn’t necessarily a functional, strong, flexible muscle. Remember TIGHT isn’t necessarily STRONG! You want strong, that’s where the squats come in.

Why squats? Well squats are the main exercise that builds good strong glutes. The muscles that balance out the anterior pull on the sacrum are the glutes. A lack of glutes, or having no butt, is what makes this group so much more susceptible to pelvic floor disorder (PFD). Zero lumbar curvature, missing the little curve at the small of the back, is the most telling sign that the pelvic floor is beginning to weaken.

I’m not saying you have to go load a bar with weight on your back to squat. Bodyweight Squats are perfect. Your main goal is to squat low. Some women may have a hard time with this. It takes practice and getting your range of motion down. When I first started I couldn’t even get parallel. My hips were so tight it was difficult. Now I can literally touch my butt to my heels no problem. Think of squatting to pee while camping or an emergency pit stop on the side of the road while traveling. That is how low you need to get. Squatting this low or deep is to create the posterior pull on the sacrum and balance the work of the pelvic floor.

I can’t express how important it is to get your range of motion down to perform a perfect squat. It takes lots of practice and stretching. Below are some pictures and suggestions I recommend to start practicing.

STRETCHES
These stretches really help loosen up your hips, glutes and lower back.

A. Sitting Hamstring Stretch
This stretches your inner thigh, hips, glutes and lower back muscles. Sit on the floor with one leg out to the side and the other leg bent to the inside. Gently reach for your toes on the outstretched leg. Repeat on the other side.

B. Butterfly Stretch
The butterfly stretch exercise stretches your inner thighs, groin, hips, and lower back. If you are prone to lower-back discomfort, take extra care to lean forward from your hips rather than rounding your lower back. This exercise may also cause some knee discomfort. This procedure demonstrates the butterfly stretch that most fitness experts recommend. Sit up tall with the soles of your feet pressed together and your knees dropped to the sides as far as they will comfortably go. Pull your abdominals gently inward and lean forward from your hips. Grasp your feet with your hands and carefully pull yourself a small way farther forward. You should feel the stretch spread throughout your inner thighs, the outermost part of your hips, and lower back.

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C. Hip, Glute and Sciatica Stretch
During pregnancy many women (including myself) experience tightness through your hips and glutes. During your 2nd and 3rd trimester laying on your back to stretch isn’t an option. This movement is very mild but trust me you’ll feel it…. even if you’re not pregnant!

C1. Sit upright on edge of a sturdy chair. Cross leg placing upper ankle on your quad.

C2. Slowly lean forward till you cannot go any further. You will feel the stretch through your glutes and hip.

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Body Weight Exercises to Practice

D. Bodyweight Squats
Be sure to do the stretches above before you start.

D1. To perform a body weight squat, clasp your hands together and hold at your chest (you can also extend your arms straight out in front of you with your palms down). Keep your feet flat on the floor a little wider than your shoulders. Slowly bend your legs to start the exercise and make sure to keep your back as straight as possible. You should also keep your head up and try to look straight ahead during the exercise.

D2. Keep your feet flat on the floor as you squat down. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, stand back up to finish the first repetition. Try to do at least 10 repetitions and then take a short break. Really focus on your depth. Once you get use to them work on holding your squat at the bottom.

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E. Plie or Sumo Squats
Plie squats are slightly different than regular squats. The main difference between the two exercises is the placement of your feet. During a regular squat, the feet are placed shoulder width distance or slightly wider apart, and the toes face forward. When doing a sumo squat, the feet are in a wide stance with the toes turned out at an angle. The plie and regular squat both work the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves. However, the plie squat places more emphasis on the inner thighs and glutes.

E1. Stand with your feet in a wide stance, with toes turned outward. Place hands on your hips for support.

E2. Lower yourself down by bending your knees. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, rise back up, squeeze your glutes and steadily and repeat.

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F.  Wall Sits
Wall sits is an example of an isometric exercise. In this type of exercise, the contracting muscles produce little or no movement. One drawback of isometric exercises is that they only strengthen the muscles in the angle in which you hold the position. You can overcome this drawback by repeating the exercise at different angles. For example, drop only a couple of inches down the wall the first time you do the wall sit. When you repeat it, lower yourself a couple inches more. Breathe regularly while you hold the wall sit. To protect your knees, keep them pointing straight in front of you and don’t let them pass in front of your toes.

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PREGNANCY TIP- Stretch Tight Hips / Sciatica

During pregnancy many women (including myself) experience tightness through your hips and glutes. During your 2nd and 3rd trimester laying on your back to stretch isn’t an option.  This movement is very mild but trust me you’ll feel it…. even if you’re not pregnant!

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Preventing Swelling and Varicose Veins in Legs

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Compression stockings are often recommended during pregnancy to help energize tired, achy legs, help prevent and reduce swelling and promote better circulation. Great for those who are standing or sitting for long periods of time, gradient compression products help keep legs healthy.

Gradient compression hosiery during pregnancy helps keep your legs looking and feeling their best! Often recommended for those with tired, achy, fatigued legs and feet, swollen feet or ankles or mild to moderate swelling, gradient compression helps keeps your legs going strong! What busy momma couldn’t use a little extra energy?

By applying the tightest “squeeze” to the ankle and then gradually decreasing the pressure up the leg, gradient compression hosiery help promote better circulation and more leg energy.

If you are experiencing any of the following, you may benefit from wearing gradient compression:

• Tired, aching, fatigued legs

• Swollen feet, ankles, and legs

• Mild to moderate swelling

• Stand or sit for long periods

• Traveling

• Overweight

Even if you do not have any of the above conditions, you may still appreciate the benefits of wearing compression because of how great they make your legs look and feel! I do tend to swell during pregnancy and wearing compression stockings help tremendously!

• About 40% of all pregnant women suffer from varicose veins.

• Pregnancy increases the body blood volume.

• The increase level of the hormone progesterone cause blood vessel to relax. Therefore valves separate slightly and they don’t work properly, letting the back-flow of blood in the veins.

• The uterus presses against the major veins in the pelvic region and increases the pressure in the leg veins are then subject to becoming varicose.

• The weight increase enhances the risk of venous insufficiency affecting the legs.

Although I have not had to deal with varicose veins I know many women who have especially during pregnancy. I have always taken precautions to prevent them and so far so good. Below are some things I personally do.

But first… what are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are swollen veins that may bulge near the surface of the skin. These blue or purple, sometimes squiggly veins are most likely to show up in your legs, though you may also get them in your vulva or elsewhere. (In fact, hemorrhoids are really just varicose veins of the rectal area.)

You may have little or no discomfort from them, or they may make your legs feel heavy and achy. The skin around a varicose vein may also itch, throb, or feel like it’s burning. The symptoms tend to be worse at the end of the day, especially if you’ve been on your feet a lot.

Many women first develop varicose veins – or find that they get worse – during pregnancy. As your uterus grows, it puts pressure on the large vein on the right side of your body (the inferior vena cava), which in turn increases pressure in the leg veins.

Veins are the blood vessels that return blood from your extremities to your heart, so the blood in your leg veins is already working against gravity. When you’re pregnant, the amount of blood in your body increases, adding to the burden on your veins. And your progesterone levels rise, causing the walls of your blood vessels to relax.

They’re more common in women than men, and if you have them, they tend to get worse with each successive pregnancy and as you get older. Being overweight, carrying twins or higher multiples, and standing for long periods can also make you more susceptible.

The good news is that varicose veins tend to improve after you give birth, particularly if you didn’t have any before you got pregnant. And if they don’t get better, there are a variety of ways to treat them.

You may have also noticed tiny blood vessels near the surface of the skin, especially on your ankles, legs, or face. These are called spider veins. These don’t cause discomfort, and they typically disappear after delivery.

You may be able to prevent them or at least minimize them. Here are some tips:

• Exercise daily. Even just a brisk walk around the block can help your circulation. Swimming is also wonderful.

• Strive to keep within the recommended weight range for your stage of pregnancy.

• Elevate your feet and legs whenever possible. Use a stool or box to rest your legs on when you’re sitting, and keep your feet elevated on a pillow when you’re lying down.

• Don’t cross your legs or ankles when sitting.

• Don’t sit or stand for long periods without taking breaks to move around.

• Sleep on your left side. Wedge a pillow behind your back to keep yourself tilted to the left and elevate your feet with a pillow. Since the inferior vena cava is on the right side, lying on your left side relieves the vein of the weight of the uterus, thus decreasing pressure on the veins in your legs and feet.

• Wear special support hose. Graduated-compression stockings, which are twice as thick as normal pantyhose, work best. These stockings are available from medical supply stores and pharmacies. They’re tight at the ankle and get looser as they go up the leg, making it easier for blood to flow back up toward your heart. As a result, they help prevent swelling and may keep your varicose veins from getting worse.

To prevent blood from pooling in your legs, put the stockings on before getting out of bed in the morning, while you’re still lying down, and keep them on all day. Heavy-duty support hose may be bothersome, especially in hot weather, but bad varicose veins can be more uncomfortable.

They may not be the sexiest stockings, but I promise they keep your legs super sexy!

** On a side note, not just pregnant women benefit from wearing compression stockings. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. If you a work night shift. Also my dad is a marathon runner and suffered from swelling post runs, compression stockings helped him greatly.

Cody Lawyer/ The Protein Princess
Mother of 3 and 29 weeks pregnant
Ironworks Gym Owner
ISSA CPT