So you’ve heard that circulation is super important for moms-to-be, but has anybody told you exactly WHY?

Let’s break it down. Your blood circulation is critical for maintaining optimal health — even if you’re not pregnant. It ensures that blood and oxygen flow continuously throughout your body, allowing every organ to function properly. You need sufficient oxygen for your brain to function sharply, to keep your heart healthy, and to heal your wounds when you’re hurt. 

Ok, so… why do I need to improve my circulation during pregnancy?

Well, when you’re pregnant, your baby is receiving all of its oxygen (and all of its nutrients) through the umbilical cord. The added stress on your body can make it difficult to maintain normal circulation for both yourself and the tiny human that is now growing inside you.

During pregnancy, a number of changes affecting venous blood flow happen in the circulatory system (such as reduced vein wall tension) which can cause symptoms such as blood stagnation, swelling, and may lead to venous disease. In fact, 80% of moms-to-be will experience some type of venous insufficiency during their pregnancy or after (Surgery, 2018). 

While bad circulation rarely ever leads to serious fetal conditions such as placental insufficiency — a rare condition where the placenta doesn’t develop properly — it can still lead to a host of other problems for moms, such as:

  • Leg swelling

  • Pain

  • Varicose veins

  • Night cramps

  • Numbness

  • Itching

  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

  • Pre-eclampsia

  • Blood clots

it is possible to treat bad circulation medicinally, but if you’re a mom-to-be who is worried about harming your baby with pills and chemicals, there are many alternative ways to treat it. 
If you’re already struggling with bad circulation, you can improve your circulation in a way that is healthy for you and your baby and doesn’t put more stress on your circulatory system.

1. Get a TENS Unit — the best non-medicinal product for improving circulation

At The Mommy Care Kit, we provide a TENS Unit that has been FDA approved and tested by Moms just like you, who love it. It is recommended for use in the third trimester of pregnancy, but can be used before AND after birth and is 100% safe for you and your baby. 
This is especially helpful if you are bed-bound and can’t use any other natural methods to improve your blood circulation, like exercise.
It works by using a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator to send electrical pulses through your body. This encourages your body to release its own natural painkillers, called endorphins, to reduce your inflammation and pain. 
(Read our article on How to Ease Pregnancy Pain Without Medication to find out how endorphins work) 
The MommyCareKit TENS Unit

🗸 Safe to use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
🗸 Provides up to 24 hours of pain relief
🗸 Provides relief for post-operative pain following a cesarean
🗸 Safe for use postpartum 
🗸 Comes with a how-to manual, 1 pack of 4 electrodes, 2 wires, a 9-volt battery, and a portable storage case.
🗸 FDA approved 

2. If you can, get some exercise… any exercise! 

(And if you can’t, we’ve got you covered with our TENS Unit. See above).

Sometimes the last thing you want to do when you are feeling swollen and achy is put your body in more pain by moving. Sure, you might have heard that elevating your feet is a good way to improve circulation in your lower extremities, and it is (see number 5) but not as good as exercising. 

Studies show that just 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise can improve your circulation (Myers, 2003).

You don’t have to be a gym bunny to keep yourself active and healthy during your pregnancy. Of course, cardio and strength training are brilliant for moms-to-be, but there are many other fun ways you can exercise your body and help your blood flow, including:

  • A walk or light jog on the beach 
  • A yoga class for moms-to-be
  • Stretching 
  • Swimming
  • A low-impact dance class
  • Ride a stationary bike

3. Get a weekly massage

Do we really need to give you an excuse for this one? Any type of massage will help with circulation, and the masseuse is doing all the work for you. 

Regular massages during your pregnancy will have so many benefits for your health. As well as improving your blood flow, it can reduce swelling in your hands and feet, ease pain, and regulate your hormones. If you opt for massages as part of your prenatal care, it may even lower your cortisol levels (the hormone responsible for stress). 

Massage can also help endorphin release, so you will feel relaxed and pain-free afterward.

Tip: Make your massage therapist aware that you are pregnant. This will ensure that they don’t use strong essential oils or anything that may aggravate your skin, and they will know to be gentle in areas where you are at risk of venous insufficiencies, such as your legs. They may even provide a specialist pregnancy massage.

4. Wear loose clothing 

It can be tempting to wear tight-fitting clothing that shows off your baby bump, especially when you first start showing, but this can negatively affect blood circulation. 

In some areas, it can be beneficial to wear tight clothing to improve circulation (such as compression stockings), but for every other area of your body, the opposite is true.

Even the underwear you’re wearing right now could be contributing to your poor circulation. Think about it. Your body is now carrying a whole other human being inside it. Even if you’re tiny and are barely showing yet, it’s always a good idea to go up a size in all of your clothing. Allow your skin to breathe and your bump to grow comfortably, without anything digging into your skin throughout the day, cutting off your circulation. 

Don’t wait until that waistband tells you it’s time for a looser one, mama. Give your bump some space to grow lovingly right now!


5. Raise your legs above your heart for 20 minutes a day

While it’s important to avoid sitting for long periods of time while pregnant — unless told to do so by your OBGYN — your rest periods are just as important as your movement for circulation. 

So how do you get the most out of your rest time? Raise your legs above your heart for 20 minutes every day. 

You can use a stool or chair to elevate your legs above the level of your heart, or simply prop your feet up on lots of cushions and lie back on the sofa and watch your favorite TV show. 

Studies have shown that elevating your legs 6 to 12 inches higher than your heart for 12-20 minutes a day can help encourage blood flow to your heart and lungs, and help alleviate puffiness (May 06 & 2021, 2021).  

There you have it. Our findings are that a healthy balance of exercise and rest, and some self-care to promote endorphin release are all the ingredients you need to ensure you’re trying your best to promote good circulation.

So off you go to get your light exercise in, and afterward get yourself comfy with your legs propped up on some cushions, book an appointment for a pregnancy massage, and order yourself a TENS Unit.

Your circulatory system will thank you for it.

CLICK HERE to take a look at our TENS Unit, and keep an eye out for more tips & tricks for a healthy, natural, pill-free pregnancy from The Mommy Care Kit 


Love & baby hugs,

The Mommy Care Club at TheMommyCarekit.