Causes of Swollen Feet During Pregnancy and Ways to Reduce Swelling
There are many physiological and pathological changes observed in pregnant women. Some are minor with no cause of worry, while few can lead to many complications during the course of pregnancy and labor. Swollen feet during pregnancy are one such problem faced by many women. Swelling of feet is also termed as edema.
Swollen Feet During Pregnancy When to Worry
When swelling increases to other parts of the body such as in the hands, face and around the eyes, it is a cause of worry. Or when there is severe sudden swelling, or swelling of one leg with pain in the leg and calf muscle. Severe swelling is a sign of pre-eclampsia, the other symptoms are rapid weight gain, high blood pressure, blurred vision and headache.
How to Reduce Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
- Avoid standing on your feet for a long time.
- Avoid sitting with your feet on the floor for long period.
- While sitting, keep your feet on stool.
- Rotate your ankles frequently.
- Walk for a while after sitting or standing, to keep healthy blood circulation.
- Avoid wearing fit clothing.
- Restrict salt intake.
- Elevate your legs while you sleep. Keep two pillows under your feet to elevate your legs.
- Wear maternity stocking.
- Regular waking exercise or swimming reduces swelling in the ankles and feet.
- Home remedy: Lecithin seeds are effective in reducing the swollen feet during pregnancy. Take 1 to 2 teaspoon of the seeds daily in the morning for few months to reduce the swelling.
- Eat food rich in vitamin E. spinach, almond oil; wheat germ is the rich source of vitamin E.
Causes of Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
You have to be cautious with swollen feet during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. During pregnancy, growing uterus presses the pelvic veins and the vena cava. Vena cava is the large vein on right side of abdomen which carries the blood from lower extremities to the heart. The pressure on veins slows down the blood flow which results into excess of pooling in the lower limbs. This forces the fluid from the veins to slip into the tissue of lower limbs. Due to gravitation the fluid gets collected in the feet and the ankle. High intake of salt is also one reason for swelling. Hot temperature, drinking excess of tea and coffee, hormonal changes etc are other causes of swollen feet during pregnancy.
New Health Guide
When you are pregnant, your body will begin to retain more water than normal and because of this, it is common to experience swelling in various parts of the body such as the legs, feet and ankles. Postpartum swelling that affects your hands and feet is also known as edema and happens if blood and fluid are trapped in your bodyвЂ™s tissues. In most cases this postpartum swelling will naturally decrease after you give birth. There are some things that you can do to help minimize the swelling both during pregnancy and afterwards.
Causes of Swollen Feet after Pregnancy
The swelling of the hands and feet associated with pregnancy can vary from woman to woman, ranging from extreme to mild. The swelling can lead to the skin having an appearance that is stretched, inflamed, puffy or shiny. In some cases, pressing down on the skin may result in it staying sunken in for a few seconds. In addition to affecting your hands and feet, pregnancy related swelling can also affect other areas of the body such as your legs, ankles and abdomen.
The swelling, or edema, is due to the extra water that your body retains during pregnancy. In fact, most of the weight gain that is associated with pregnancy is due to water retention as the extra fluid will help your tissues deal with the babyвЂ™s growth and prepare your pelvic area for safe labor.
At the later stages in pregnancy, your uterus will be enlarged and therefore exert increased pressure on the veins that provide the blood supply for your feet and legs, thereby affecting the blood flow and increasing the fluid retention. This swelling should gradually recede after you give birth because your body will be eliminating the extra fluid.
How the Swelling Recedes
This gradual decrease in swelling should happen over the course of around a week. During the process your kidneys participate in most of the elimination of excess fluids which leads to increased urination. In addition to urinating more often immediately after pregnancy, additional fluids will be excreted through your pores in the form of sweat.
When to Worry
In almost all cases postpartum swelling is nothing to be concerned about as every woman will experience it after pregnancy. It is possible, however, for complications to occur and it is important to contact your doctor if your swelling lasts for more than a week after giving birth. You should also contact your doctor if you have leg pain or bad headaches as either can indicate high blood pressure. If the swelling is associated with severe pain or only on one side, you should contact your health care provider to check for blood clots.
How to Ease Swollen Feet after Pregnancy
Rest and proper posture
You should try to rest as much as you can, preferable with your feet higher than your hips. You should also to avoid crossing your legs. If you need to stand for a long time, try to shift your weight between feet and sit whenever possible.
Ask your significant other to gently massage your legs and feet starting at the bottom and working up. (Only do this if it is not painful for you)
Soak your feet with essential oils
You should try not to use aromatherapy essential oils during the massage but if you want, you can soak your feet in a mixture of water and the oils. Cypress oil can help with varicose veins and circulation while chamomile and lavender oil can reduce discomfort.
Apply cabbage leaves
Wipe cool (refrigerated, not frozen) white or green cabbage leaves on your swollen areas as this will draw out some excess fluid.
Try herbal remedy
Dandelion tea can help prevent you from retaining fluid but you should always use herbal teas in moderation and never if you have gall bladder problems.
Acupuncture can help by rebalancing the internal energies as well as helping kidney function and circulation.
- When you are asleep, try putting several pillows underneath your feet to elevate them.
- You can also try lying down on your side to reduce swelling by increasing blood circulation.
- Do your best to stay cool as heat will increase the swelling.
- Mild exercise can also help (such as walking or swimming).
How to Prevent Swollen Feet after Pregnancy
It is not always possible to prevent your feet from becoming swollen during pregnancy but taking certain steps can decrease the severity of the swelling. This means that your legs and feet are less likely to become painful and tender.
The best way to prevent severe swelling is to consume a balanced diet which will mean you wonвЂ™t gain excess weight during your pregnancy.
- To make sure that your diet is balanced, be sure to include a little bit of lean protein at each meal. Good examples include poultry, meat, eggs, legumes and beans.
- In addition, you should pay attention to your fruit and vegetable intake, aiming to consume at least 5 portions of this food group daily.
- You should also decrease your consumption of sugar, fat and salt and increase the amount of water you drink. Drinking more water will help the kidneys filter out any excess fluid.
- You should also pay attention to which foods are natural diuretics as these can help your kidneys stay healthy and allow you to urinate frequently, reducing the swelling. Some natural diuretics are citrus fruits, apples, small quantities of parsley, watercress and celery but you should always be careful not to get dehydrated.
- You can also try to eat more garlic and onion to improve your bodyвЂ™s circulation.
- In addition to avoiding sugar, fat and salt, you should also avoid pre-packaged or processed foods when you can as these will increase fluid retention due to their high salt and additive content.
- Instead, you should focus on foods that contain a great deal of vitamin C and vitamin E. To get vitamin C, try eating more broccoli, cabbage, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, melons, red and green peppers and citrus fruits. To increase your intake of vitamin E, eat more corn oil margarine, almonds and cashews, sweetcorn, wheat germ, sunflower seeds and vegetable oils (such as wheat germ, corn and soy).
- You should also try to quit smoking, not only for your babyвЂ™s health but also to reduce the swelling associated with pregnancy.
Home Remedies to Prevent Foot Swelling During Pregnancy
Amidst all the pleasures of pregnancy; there are ample of pains that one suffers from. One of the most common pains includes back and foot pain and this leads to swelling on the ankles. A woman notices feet swelling from the fifth month and then it increases with intensity. In some cases the swelling is accompanied with pain; however in other cases it may be only swelling. The feet start to swell due to the rapid increase in weight and pressure exerted on the feet. Most working woman suffer from swollen feet as they continue to manage the chores at home and the stress at work.
A light massage and adequate amounts of rest help to decrease the swelling. One should also make sure not to stand for long periods of time. If your job requires you to do so then you must take frequent breaks to rest. Sitting will help to ease the stress from your feet.
When you are pregnant you must increase the amount of water you drink. Normally you need to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily; you need to increase this amount to about 10 to 12 glasses. This helps to get rid of the toxins from your body that would normally get retained in your body and settle on your feet causing it to swell. The more water you drink the better your bowel movements will be. This is a good sign. You will also have an increase in urination and this helps to get rid of the toxins.
Hot temperatures are not the best conditions for pregnant woman. Hot and humid climates cause water to evaporate from the body and this leads to swelling on the feet. Loss of water and the stress about the climatic conditions leads to swollen feet. One must avoid these climates by using air conditioning as far as possible.
One must avoid indulging in foods that are high in spices or salt. These foods generally tend to cause upset stomachs and leads to swelling on the feet. In order to avoid this one must eat salty and spicy foods in moderation and avoid eating deep fried foods. Too much oil is not good for your system.
Avoid wearing tight jeans, trousers and pants and skirts when you are pregnant. This causes pressure on your legs and leads to swelling on your feet. If you do suffer from swelling along with pain in your feet then you must soak your feet in warm water with a hint of peppermint oil added to the water. This helps to reduce the swelling and eases the pain.
If you are not a working person then you are likely to get a lot of rest during your pregnancy. While this is a good thing you must also make sure that you exercise regularly. Exercising helps to increase blood circulation in your body and keeps you fit. Good circulation will ensure that you do not have a problem with swollen feet.
Natural Remedy For Swelling Of Feet During Pregnancy
Around ninety percent of the women face this problem during the onset of the third trimester in pregnancy where they endure with swelling in the feet and ankle region of the leg. This condition is also referred as edema.
The most common reason for these swelling to erupt is due to carrying the increased body weight due to enlarged uterus which exerts pressure leading to an improper flow of blood on legs and nerves for a longer duration.
This is more evident when you stand for long periods especially during the kitchen work or have been taking continuous walks for longer durations .Other reasons for edema involves fluid retention in the body or having low levels of potassium in the diet causes the swelling of feet.
The first thing you should do is to take rest and do not spend long durations in standing. Even while taking rest, try and keep your feet up as this will reduce the swelling in the feet.
The second cure involves buttermilk and it is seen that consuming the buttermilk two times a day have proved beneficial for swelling of feet in pregnant ladies.
For the third cure you add half tablespoon molasses and a tablespoon of fennel seeds to a cup of boiling water and steep it till it reduces to half of its content. Drinking this concoction twice or thrice a day will reduce the swelling of feet during pregnancy.
The fourth cure calls for adding a teaspoon of fresh lime juice to a glass of lukewarm water, and drinking this liquid every day can be an effective home remedy in reducing swelling of feet during pregnancy.
You can also add coriander seeds to a glass of boiling water and steep this mixture till it reduces to half and consume the cooled and strained mix at least twice a day to get rid of swollen feet.
For the sixth cure you just need to keep your feet immersed in cold water for fifteen minutes to get some relief from edema and are considered an important remedy for that.
For the seventh cure it is recommended to include food stuffs like spinach, sweet potato and almonds along with sunflower seeds and wheat germs as they are rich in Vitamin E and Vitamin e is good for patients suffering from swollen feet during pregnancy.
For the eight cures, you can have lecithin seeds on regular basis as it can show quick results in getting relief from swelling in legs and feet during pregnancy.