Vulval Varicosities – the nitty gritty

Perineal ice pack
Vulval Varicosities - the nitty gritty

Vulval Varicosities – haven’t heard of them, then WOW you’re lucky! Coz 55% of women will experience them at some stage of their life… 55%! Thats more than 1 in 2!! And do we talk about having swollen, purple bits down below?!? No! We don’t! So Ice Ice Booby is going to….

OMG What are they??

I’m sure you have all seen varicose veins on someone’s ankles or legs at some time or another. They can appear discolored, puffy and bulge out from under the surface of the skin. This type of vein can develop on the vulva or at the vaginal entrance. Women will most often describe them as gross, twisted and swollen and be purple or bluish in colour. They might appear individually or together in clumps and cause discomfort, pain or pressure at the vulva. Vulval varicosities (VV) can occur to any woman, but most often they occur during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester.

WHY ME? Why do they occur?

Loads of changes occur during pregnancy – usually too fast for our own liking and heads -but everything grows due to the normal hormones of pregnancy. Because of the increased blood volume circulating your pregnant body, the increased pressure in your pelvic region from the growing size of bubs and your tummy, and the natural softening of the walls of the veins, these delights can occur.

What can I do about them?

Haven’t had them before or haven’t got them now? Then thumbs up to you, however implementing these hints now and sticking to them religiously will help minimise developing them. You’ve got them now?!? Don’t worry, it’s normal and it’s ok – here’s some helpful tips too to help keep them at bay.

  • Don’t get constipated – as straining on the loo causes increased pressure… thus putting more pressure in the nether regions and the veins down below. Maintain good poo-ing posture and use a foot stool if you find it comfortable.
  • Avoid standing still or sitting in the same place for too long – get up and move to get the blood circulating.
  • Don’t squat – again this causes too much pressure in your pelvis.
  • Pelvic floor exercises, pelvic floor exercises, pelvic floor exercises – enough said.
  • Rest – this is a BIG one. We’re all busy – we know that. But this is what WILL help. You’re preggas – have a little lie down (on your side). Find or make time. This will help relieve pressure on your vulva and vagina. And you know what else you can do while having a rest – ICE!!
  • Ice for 15-20 minutes per day to help relieve the swelling and ease the discomfort caused by the VV’s. Ice Ice Booby’s perineal pack is ideal for this very reason, so get your money’s worth and use it WHILE your pregnant. Icing will also MAKE you REST – thus getting two benefits for the price of one. WINNING!
  • Using support garments will also help aid the negative effects of gravity and help reduce symptoms of VV’s.
Will they be forever?

Unfortunately we can’t promise anything here. Most often than not, once your not pregnant anymore they will shrink with time. You might find that they reoccur in future pregnancies or during your period. Nevertheless, it is most certainly worth doing whatever you can to help minimise this problem by using the hints and tips from above, to help you enjoy your pregnancy and recover well post birth.

XOXO –

Ice Ice Booby

ps. Ladies, talk… Chances are this happened to your mate, mum, sister, colleague, boss. It is NORMAL, you are NORMAL. We just need to know what to do to help it and not ignore it.

Perineal Massage… What the?!!

Perineal Massage - What The?!?

We prepare for all events in our lives, whether it be buying a car, selling a house, preparing for a job interview, or organizing a wedding.

Ladies when we are pregnant, obviously, our bodies are growing a human or humans, so we must prepare.

If you are aiming for a vaginal birth, there is a simple technique called perineal massage. This massage technique helps prepare your vagina and surrounding tissues for the stretching it will experience during childbirth. This massage can help reduce the trauma to your perineum and decrease the need for stitches post birth.

Always consult your medical practitioner prior to starting as in some circumstances it is not recommended.

This massage is typically started at weeks 34-35 of pregnancy, and only needs to be done once or twice per week, with each session lasting 5 minutes max. Simples!!

How to.. First, get comfy. Either lying, sitting or standing. Use some almond oil or KY jelly to help lubricate things. Once you’re comfortable, insert one or two clean fingers into the vagina about 5cm and apply gentle downward pressure (towards the anus) until you feel a slight tingling or burning sensation. Once you feel that sensation, hold the stretch for two minutes, then move your fingers to the side and repeat the process.

This simple time effective technique can help stretch the tissues of the vagina and perineum and can also help you connect with your body, and thus helping with control during the pushing phase of childbirth. Our perineal warm pack can be applied prior to starting your massage session to help gently warm the tissues, allowing the massage to be more comfortable for you.

Happy massaging 🙂

XOXO –

Ice Ice Booby

Perineal ice pack
Perineal ice pack

Helpful Tip – Hospital Bag Must Haves

Breast and perineal ice packs
Hospital Bag Must Haves

When it comes time to start thinking about packing your hospital bag things are starting to get real. Your hospital should have provided you with a list of essential items but here’s a few extra items that you may not have thought of….

  • BYO pillow – regardless of which hospital you are booked in at there always a shortage of pillows. They are like gold, as soon as they appear, they’re gone again. There’s nothing quite like your own pillow too, especially when you’re not sleeping in your own bed. Don’t forget your partners too….
  • Your pre-expressed colostrum. Have a chat with your midwife or doctor about antenatal expressing and if it is safe for you to do. If they give you the green light then go ahead from 36-37 weeks and express way. It’s a great way to start getting a little collection up for your little one. 
  • Lanolin Nipple cream – there are plenty of terrific brands out there. 100% pure Lanolin helps sooth, heal and protect sore and cracked nipples and being natural you don’t have to wipe it off before feeds. 
  • Hydrogel Nipple Disc Pads – again there are plenty of great brands out there. These help provide cooling, soothing relief to sore and cracked nipples.
  • Wet wipes – great for easy wiping ‘down under.’
  • And of course….. Your Ice Ice Booby breast and perineal heat and ice packs – whether you’re in hospital for 5 hours or 5 days, trust us, these will come in handy. 

We hope this has helped….

Happy Packing 🙂 

XOXO – 

Ice Ice Booby