Tips to reduce swelling during pregnancy
Created by Ridhi Doomra Updated on Oct 26, 2017
In addition to your tummy growing with the developing fetus, did you notice that other parts of your body begin to swell, too? This is particularly the case with feet and ankles. Don’t hit the panic button, yet. It is probably a simple case of pregnancy edema or swelling, which happens due to excess fluid retention in the body. Swelling can happen even in the face or fingers. If you’ve been experiencing pregnancy swelling, read on to find out how you can tackle this common woe.
When Will My Feet Swell During Pregnancy?
Around half of all pregnant women face swelling, usually in the latter half of the second trimester, and in the third trimester. Depending on the weather, or the time of the day, the amount of swelling can vary. During very hot months, the swelling increases. If your work involves a lot of standing and walking, you might find that your feet are swollen in the evening.
What Causes Swelling During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, the body retains more fluid in order to protect you and your baby. This excess fluid, along with the pressure of the uterus on the big veins in your body leads to the swelling.
When Do I Need To Call The Doctor?
While pregnancy swelling is a fairly common occurrence, do call your doctor if you notice that.
- The swelling is excessive in your hands or face and doesn’t subside within a day. This could possibly indicate preeclampsia if it occurs in the third trimester. However, preeclampsia is normally accompanied by high BP, excessive weight gain and headaches
- If your calf looks red, and the swelling is just in one leg, it could indicate a blood clot in the vein
What Are Some Tips To Reduce Swelling During Pregnancy?
While for many pregnant women swelling is that unwelcome guest who just won’t leave, food and some simple lifestyle changes will help alleviate the discomfort. Here are some tips to help reduce edema during pregnancy.
- Relax, mama: While completely being inactive during pregnancy is not recommended, take regular breaks and pamper yourself. This is more essential if your job involves a lot of standing or walking through the day. Put your feet up, above the hip level, if possible
- Go shoe shopping: We don’t mean for retail therapy (although that might cheer you up). But if your shoes are unsuited to pregnancy, buy yourself some comfortable pairs. The discomfort is reduced when your feet, toes, heels are not under tremendous stress
- Exercise:Getting rest during pregnancy doesn’t mean you switch to a sedentary lifestyle. Walking, swimming, pregnancy yoga – all these help you keep fit and healthy through your pregnancy. Speak to your gynecologist before you begin an exercise regimen in case you have any medical history to be considered
- Stay hydrated: Are you surprised that we suggest you drink more water to deal with fluid-related swelling? Staying hydrated helps the body get rid of excess sodium, and thus reduces swelling. So keep a bottle of water handy at all times. Add some lemon wedges or slices of cucumber to it to amp it up!
- Healthy diet: This one is a no-brainer. It is essential that you maintain a healthy diet throughout your pregnancy. Junk food, particularly those with a lot of salt, because it leads to fluid retention. Eat plenty of fruits that are rich in Vitamin C, such as oranges, melons and sweet limes
- Home remedies: While there is no scientific proof that these reduce swelling, they definitely calm and relax you.
- Soak your feet in water with rock salt
- Cabbage leaves are believed to reduce fluid retention. Place some cool cabbage leaves on the swollen area and wrap like a bandage.
- When the leaves become wet, change them and repeat.
- Get a foot massage using lavender or cypress oil.
Pregnancy is a time of so many baffling body changes, some quite painful. Give your body the attention it needs, and pamper yourself. When it feels like the swelling in your feet is just taking all the joy away from your pregnancy, sit back, try one of these tips. We hope you feel better soon!
Did these tips help reduce the discomfort from swollen feet and ankles? Let us know in the comments section!
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