You may be noticing that your belly is not the only part of your body that is growing. Swollen feet and ankles may be part of your pregnancy.
Some of the best ways to reduce swelling in your feet during pregnancy are just common sense but others, you may not be aware of.
But for swelling, there are some factors to be aware of. For instance, you may have noticed that the swelling will vary throughout the day and depending on your level of activity and even the weather!
For pregnant women living in warmer climates, sorry to say that you may experience more swelling than women living in colder weather.
When Does Swelling Start During Pregnancy?
According to the American Pregnancy Association – swelling due to pregnancy “…tends to be noticed around the 5th month and can increase while you are in the third trimester.” It’s normally experienced in the hands, face, legs, ankles and feet.
There is a purpose for this swelling (aka edema).
Your swelling (aka edema) should resolve itself after you’ve given birth. This excess fluid actually helps the body to expand as the baby grows and grows.
When Should You Worry About Swelling During Your Pregnancy
Although swelling during pregnancy is common, everyone will experience varying degrees of edema. But of course, you do want to keep an eye on your health (and that of your baby).
So, yes, there are some signs you should look for that may indicate there’s something more going on than the usual pregnancy edema.
When To Worry About Swelling
- If you notice that one leg is more swollen than the other and there’s some pain – let your doctor know right away. This may be a sign of a blood clot.
- If you have a headache that simply won’t go away let your doctor know right away. Especially if it’s accompanied by visual blurriness or if you become sensitive to light.
- If you experience chest pains or have any difficulty breathing – let your doctor know right away.
What Are Some Ways To Reduce Your Swelling In Your Feet and Legs?
Here are some tips to help you manage and/or reduce the swelling that you experience during your pregnancy.
- Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time. The rule of thumb is for every hour – spend at least 5 minutes doing the opposite. So, if you are standing for an hour – sit down for at least 5 minutes. If you’re sitting for an hour – take a walk for at least 5 minutes.
- While you are sitting – if possible – elevate your legs.
- Sleep on your side. This helps your kidneys which in turn helps your body to eliminate it’s waste which in turn helps to reduce swelling.
- Exercise – just because you’re pregnant that’s no excuse not to exercise. Especially if you’ve been exercising all along. NOTE: It’s extremely important that before you do any form of exercise during your pregnancy, consult with your doctor.
- Drink lots of water (rule of thumb is 8 to 10 glasses (8 oz glasses) per day.
- Do not wear stockings or socks with elastic tops.
- Some women have success wearing support hose during the day.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You want to do this for a couple of reasons. One – it helps you to reduce swelling during pregnancy. Two – it helps to reduce leg and back pain during pregnancy.
- Limit your salt intake – or eliminate it all together.
- Massage – especially prenatal massage is a proven and excellent way to reduce swelling. An added bonus is that it can help to relieve any body pains you may also be experiencing.
You can’t avoid your body going through changes as your baby grows and your pregnancy progresses. But you can take steps to make the journey as comfortable and safe as possible for both of you.