Apart from a swollen belly, pregnant women also suffer from swollen feet and swollen leg problems. During pregnancy, the weight gain alters the body’s centre of gravity, which puts extra pressure on the feet. Delayed blood circulation due to extra pressure being put on veins by the growing uterus also contributes to swelling. In this article, you will find easy remedies for swollen feet during pregnancy.
Common foot problems that occur during pregnancy
#1. Edema or Swelling
Edema is a condition wherein excess fluid collects into tissues causing swelling. This fluid can be retained water or blood because of the prolonged circulation. The growing uterus puts extra pressure on the pelvic veins and vena cava which slows the blood circulation. This causes pooling of fluid in the tissues of feet and ankles and swelling them. Edema is most likely to occur in the third trimester although many women often face swelling throughout their pregnancy.
Also read: 11 Best Ways To Get Rid Of Post Pregnancy Swelling
Over-Pronation or “flat feet” is a situation in which a pregnant woman’s feet flatten because of the weight gain. Over-pronation can make walking very painful and can increase strain on the feet, calves and back.
#3. Varicose Veins
During pregnancy, the mother’s body produces extra blood to meet the requirements of her and the growing baby. While the quantity of flow of blood is high the rate at which the blood flows from legs to pelvis decreases. This puts added pressure on the veins and vessels. This makes the veins and vessels to bulge up.
When a person has varicose veins it begins to show as blue, swollen and rope-like veins on the skin. This also occurs when a pregnant woman gains too much weight or stands for long periods of time. This can be genetic as well. So, if your mother had a history of varicose veins, you will most likely too.
Image Source: Natural Living Ideas
#4. Leg Cramps
These painful contractions occur in the calves. Leg cramps generally occur in the second trimester because of weight gain, fatigue, and swelling in feet. It is also believed that leg cramps can occur because of a mother’s poor eating habits. Deficiency of calcium in the diet can also be a cause.
Remedies For Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
The swelling and cramps can make your legs feel heavy, uncomfortable. Here are a few remedies for swollen feet during pregnancy:
#1. Keep Your Feet Elevated
This is one of the best remedies for swollen feet during pregnancy. Elevate your feet as often as possible. If you have to sit for long periods of time, place a small stool or cushion by your feet to elevate them. Try to raise your legs 6 to 12 inches above your heart for 15 to 20 minutes to help the blood flow back to your heart and lungs. Do this before going to bed and after waking up each morning. You can sleep while elevating your feet with a cushion or pillow.
Also read: How to effectively treat swollen breasts in 10 simple ways
#2. Monitor Your Weight
It is important to monitor the weight you are gaining during pregnancy. Try to keep it within the range as recommended by your doctor. Excess weight gain adds stress to the already overworked blood circulation system. Keep a weighing scale at home which will help you to monitor your weight.
#3. Sleep on your Side
It is recommended that a pregnant woman sleeps on her side, instead of back as it relieves pressure from the veins carrying blood back to the heart. Otherwise, the pressure slows the blood returning from your lower body, resulting in swelling and pain in your legs.
Buy a pregnancy pillow, as it maintains the body’s posture while sleeping and gives support to the bump.
#4. Drink more Water
Increase the intake of water and fluids in your diet. Dehydration increases swelling. Decrease the intake of salt in your diet as having excess salt retains more fluids in the body, which leads to swelling.
Walking and other mild exercises can help soothe the pain in your legs. As you walk, the muscles of the feet and calves contract, which helps to keep blood from pooling.
Image Source: Pregnancy & Baby
#6. Comfortable Footwear
Invest in a comfortable pair of shoes, which are not too tight and provide ample support to your back and legs. Also, avoid wearing heels, even when stepping out of the house.
Also read: Warnings Signs Of Miscarriage That You Must Not Ignore
#7. Use Epsom Bath Salts
Swollen feet is usually caused due to lack of magnesium in the body. Dipping your feet in warm water with some Epsom bath salts is one of the best ways to relieve swelling and cramps in the feet. This is a very effective way to make up for the lack of magnesium in the body.
Epsom bath salts readily dissolve in warm water and soothe the muscular pain. They help to cleanse the pores and detoxify the skin as well. Moreover, you can use these even after delivery. After your baby is born, your body will be weak and you’ll have an added responsibility of taking care of the baby.
Stretching relieves the cramps and improves blood circulation. Do them twice a day. You can even stretch your legs and do this while sitting at your desk.
#9. Prenatal Massage
Massages help in soothing pain and they also improve the blood circulation. Also, it is advised to get messages from professional masseurs, as they know which areas to avoid during pregnancy and where to safely apply pressure.
#10. Apply Ice
With your feet up, apply ice to the inside of your ankles for 15 to 20 minutes. Do this daily once you’re back from office for much-needed relief
#11. Wear special support hose
Support hoses are tight at the ankle and get looser as they go up the leg, making it easier for blood to flow back up toward your heart. They help prevent swelling and may keep your varicose veins from getting worse. Put them on before you get out of bed in the morning so blood doesn’t have a chance to pool around your ankles. Remove it while before going to bed.
Also read: 7 Best Yoga Exercises For Pregnant Women
Although leg pain and swelling is a common occurrence during pregnancy, consult your practitioner if your muscle pain is constant and not just an occasional cramp. If you notice very severe swelling, redness, or tenderness in your legs, they can also be signs of blood clots, which may require immediate medical attention.
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