Heavy legs during pregnancy: Causes and solutions

During the last trimester of pregnancy , women must face many problems of insufficiency such as heavy legs , leg edema or varicose veins. Due to poor blood circulation , these sensations, although frequent and mainly marked at the end of pregnancy, can be explained and relieved!

Where do these feelings of heavy legs come from during pregnancy?

Often the cause of various unpleasant symptoms, hormones are the primary cause of heavy leg sensations during pregnancy . From the start of pregnancy , pregnant women may experience feelings of heavy legs. Indeed, the increase in the level of estrogens and progesterones not only reduces the tone of the blood vessels, which will be further dilated with an increase in blood pressure, but also promotes the appearance of edema.

Due to pregnancy , the woman's uterus is large and compresses the inferior vena cava. The latter, located in the abdomen, has the function of bringing blood from the pelvis and legs towards the heart. However, its obstruction hinders venous return, which will consequently increase the blood pressure in the veins and venules of the legs. Unable to rise, the blood will stagnate in the legs and create this feeling of heaviness .

Although all pregnant women are likely to be affected, several factors can predispose you to venous insufficiency through genetics, being overweight, a certain sedentary lifestyle both professionally and personally or even previous pregnancies.

How to prevent and relieve heavy legs during pregnancy?

As the months go by, the pregnant woman is likely to be affected by blood circulation problems, particularly in the legs. But this unpleasant phenomenon, whether established or developing, can be prevented and relieved.

We offer you 7 tips to relieve your heavy legs during pregnancy .

Practicing a sporting activity

Pregnancy , particularly during the last trimester, can lead to a lack of physical exercise, which is the legs' worst adversary. This is why it is absolutely essential to do physical activity in order to increase your heart rate: walking, exercise bike or treadmill, swimming, aquagym, Pilates...The objective is to boost blood flow!

Massage your legs to alleviate the feeling of heaviness

Massages can prevent or alleviate the feeling of heavy legs and water retention. From top to bottom, with cooling gels or oils, perform rhythmic movements and apply light pressure to stimulate blood and lymphatic flow.

However, be careful with lymphatic drainage because it is not recommended to practice it before the first 3 months of pregnancy.

Discover our certified organic Generous Soothing Oil from our anti-stretch mark range, ideal for massaging your legs during pregnancy! It can be used all over the body and will also help you fight against stretch marks.

You might like these pregnancy products

pregnancy stretch mark oil

Generous Soothing Oil


anti stretch mark cream

First Treatment Cream Stretch Marks



Eat healthy

A tendency toward water retention can get worse if you eat too much salt. Maintaining a qualitative and balanced diet , through vegetables and fiber, is therefore extremely important.

To drink a lot

Contrary to what one might think, you should not stop drinking lots of water to combat edema and feelings of heavy legs . So hydrate yourself a lot!

Adopt the right postures to relieve heavy legs

Elevating and extending your legs can promote better venous return when you are sitting or lying down. It is therefore not recommended to cross your legs and sit or stand for too long so as not to be static. Do not hesitate to move to promote blood circulation. You can also slide a pillow or cushion under the mattress while you sleep to promote better venous return.

Avoid heat to calm the feeling of heavy legs

In general, heat dilates the blood vessels so as to facilitate their evacuation. Its function as a vasodilator thus aggravates the feeling of heavy legs because the valves can no longer perform their functions. Water that is too hot during showers should therefore be avoided. For example, choose a jet of cold water on your legs for a few seconds at the end of your shower.

Dress comfortably

Wearing clothes that are too tight, shoes that are too flat or have heels that are too high, is strongly discouraged. On the contrary, it is about dressing in a way that does not hinder blood circulation .

Compression stockings for heavy legs during pregnancy

Elastic compression stockings can be worn during pregnancy if none of these natural treatments have helped you. They will compress the legs and help to have better venous return. The swelling in your ankles can thus reduce and relieve the feeling of heaviness of the legs . It is advisable to wear your stockings during the day and remove them before bedtime since at night, lying down does not actually prevent the blood from circulating. They are available self-service (class 1) or by prescription only (class 2 and class 3) depending on the pressure exerted. For optimal comfort, do not hesitate to apply an oil or cream during the night!

Heavy legs during pregnancy: if in doubt, consult!

All of these actions should help prevent and/or relieve the feeling of heavy legs during pregnancy . However, we advise you to consult a doctor if:

  • The feeling of heavy legs did not subside despite carrying out simple actions and gestures
  • Edema or varicose veins appear
  • Swelling or pain suddenly occurs in one leg: it could be phlebitis !

It is important for pregnant women to take care of themselves and their bodies. If you are more interested in this article, we also offer information on other symptoms that can be unpleasant during pregnancy: Eczema during pregnancy or Red stretch marks: causes and solutions to get rid of them .

← Older Post Newer Post →