Swollen feet are very uncomfortable, especially during pregnancy. The swelling might happen around your ankles, feet, hands or face. You should know that it’s normal during pregnancy and at least 75% of pregnant women experience it.
What Are The Causes?
Swollen feet or ankles, referred to as edema, happens because of the following reasons. It happens because of excess collection of fluid in the tissues. Note that, during pregnancy, the production of blood and other fluids in the body increases by 50% to meet the demands of the growing body. The increasing uterus will restricts veins and overall blood circulation towards your hearts. As a result, you will experience swelling in your feet, ankles and legs. Hormonal changes during pregnancy might also cause the swelling.
What Are The Expectations?
As mentioned above, swelling during pregnancy is caused by retention of fluid. The excess production of fluid softens your body, allowing expansion for the proper development of the fetus. You might experience the swelling during the third trimester. In some cases, it might intensify as the day progresses and become more acute during night time. The same can also be caused by hot weather and fatigue. Once you deliver the baby, the swelling should go away.
When To Worry About The Swelling
Yes, swelling might be a normal symptom during pregnancy but you might need some immediate medical assistance in some instances. Here are some of the symptoms you should be on the lookout for that might need some extra medical assistance.
- Puffiness on the face, the eyes, abnormal swelling in fingers, ankles or feet. It might signal preeclampsia, a very serious condition during pregnancy.
- One leg swollen more than the other and some pain in your thigh or calf. It might signal some blood clotting, quite serious if not checked out immediately.
- Abnormal swelling in your hands or wrists which could signal carpal tunnel syndrome which constricts the nerves passing through your arms.
Helpful Tips To Handle Swelling During Pregnancy
- Try sleeping on your side to keep the pressure off the veins that carry the blood back to your heart.
- Stay off your feet a few times every day. Elevate your feet above your heart when you’re sitting down. Next, stretching your legs against a wall and try a few more exercises a few times every day. You can follow the instruction video provided below to make sure you avoid as much swelling as possible.
- To avoid Charlie-horse cramps in your calves, you should stretch your calf muscles as well as exercising the toes. It’s also a good way to prevent any aches in your feet. Of course, because of your condition, you should try the effective and gentle exercises, especially those shown in the video provided below.
- You should limit your salt intake during pregnancy. Salt will increase your retention of fluids and increase the swelling considerably. Therefore, besides the amount of salt present in your food, don’t add any more or eat too many salty foods or snacks. That way, there is less retention of fluids to prevent any further swelling.
- During pregnancy, higher temperatures will increase your swelling considerably. Therefore, you should turn up the AC and stay as cool as possible.
- Extra wide shoes can make the whole thing more comfortable as it will prevent pressure on the feet that may otherwise cause pain.
- If your swelling persists, you should consider using compression pantyhose. Yes, regular tights might work perfectly but if it’s significant you should visit your doctor and get a prescription for special compression stockings.