How to Avoid Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
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How to Avoid Swollen Feet During Pregnancy

How to reduce swelling of feet while pregnant.

Many pregnant women find that their ankles and feet swell while they are pregnant or they have heard stories of how this can happen and how uncomfortable it is.

There are many reasons why your feet and ankles swell and one of those is that your body simply retains more fluids (up to 6 to 8 quarts) to help with the changes taking place. Unfortunately, gravity makes most of this fluid settle in your legs and feet. Another reason for the swelling often is the fact that your uterus is growing and the weight puts pressure on your veins, which makes it hard for the blood to return to your heart and slows down your circulation.

What Can You Do To Avoid Swelling?

  • Avoid standing for long periods of time.
  • Do not cross your legs or feet at the ankles.
  • Sit with your feet elevated (feet up on a stool or chair) and rotate your feet in a circular motion at the ankles often.
  • When lying down, elevate feet with a pillow.
  • Stay cool; the heat can cause swelling.  Soak feet in cool water or even use icepacks.
  • Exercise will help with swelling and better blood flow; walking or swimming are great.
  • Drink more water or herbal teas; this will help the kidneys function better.  Avoid soda.
  • Avoid tight clothing, and tight jeans around your legs and ankles.
  • Stay away from overly salty foods.
  • Eat a healthy diet, stay away from junk food
  • Stretch your legs frequently.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and avoid socks with tight elastic bands around the calf or ankle.
  • Lie on your side with a pillow between your legs while you sleep.
  • Ask a partner to massage your feet and legs for better circulation.
  • Avoid caffeine; a high intake of caffeine can cause swelling.
  • Take breaks during long car rides; get out and stretch legs, walk around.
  • If you sit at a desk, walk around during your breaks and rotate your feet and ankles occasionally.
  • Buy quality maternity support hose.

Some swelling will occur during the changes that pregnancy has on your body. Remember the above tips and try them to ease any swelling but also remember to listen to your body. If you find your legs, ankles or feet have sudden or severe swelling, or only one leg is swelling and is accompanied with pain or tenderness in the calf, you may have a medical condition called preeclampsia, (elevated blood pressure) and you need to contact your Health Care Provider and let them know as soon as you see these signs.  Also remember to discuss any issues of swelling or any other concerns with your doctor at your check-ups to make sure you and your baby stay healthy. Good Luck!

Resources:  For in-depth detail about the medical condition preeclampsia  List of what to do for leg and feet swelling   Explains causes for swelling during pregnancy

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