Can I get a spider vein treatment while breastfeeding?

I gave birth just under 8 months ago and my spider veins haven't subsided much. Even though the doctor said that I shouldn't worry about them (because they might go away a few months after delivery) I'm starting to worry! Will I expose my newborn to dangerous chemicals in breast milk, if I decide to have a sclerotherapy treatment in the near future, while I'm still breastfeeding?


F, 30, Massachusetts

Tags:woman age 25-34 spider veins breast feeding post pregnancy

You can get spider vein treatment while you're breastfeeding if you opt for the non-laser version. The sclerotherapy treatment is actually rather easy to do and there's very few side effects besides stuff like raised areas or small sores.

The procedure itself includes injecting saline into your spider veins and then waiting. What happens while you're waiting is that your spider veins will shrivel up and then all of the blood that was going through those veins will be rerouted to more healthy veins.

I think that if you can do it without a lot of pain medication, you should be fine. Obviously, you should talk with your primary care physician to see what they think before you move forward.

Anytime that you are breastfeeding, you should be careful about the work that you get done because you run the risk of exposing your baby to chemicals in your milk. It really just depends on your doctor, honestly. Some doctors will tell you to wean your baby completely before you begin your spider vein treatments because you wouldn’t want to risk the exposure. On the other hand, some doctors will just tell you to follow the “pump and dump” method for the next two or three days after the treatment is completed so your body can process and eliminate any chemicals that were leftover in your system and they won't make it to your milk supply.

The answer to this is probably not. While you probably could find someone who would be willing to do the procedure for you, if you are breastfeeding and plan on continuing to do so I would encourage you not to. There will have to be some pain management medication involved which you can then be passed on to your child. Or you may need to stop breastfeeding for the amount of time that you are on pain medication, which could be a few days.

If you are able to, I would wait until after you're done breastfeeding to have the procedure done. While you are waiting you can always use a combination of compression socks, exercise, and having your legs up every time that you were sitting. Those things combined will help to reduce the appearance of your current spider veins while helping to decrease the number of spider veins that you might get in the future.