Pregnancy can cause a woman’s body to undergo numerous changes, including the occurrence of edema in specific regions, particularly the feet and ankles.
Why do your feet swell during pregnancy?
When you’re pregnant, your body holds onto more water and fluids because your hormones change. As your baby grows, the weight of your uterus and baby presses on the veins in your legs, slowing down blood flow and making it harder for the veins to send blood back to your heart. This pressure makes fluid leak from the veins, which causes your ankles and feet to swell.
What is normal swelling?
Swelling around the ankles and legs is considered normal. Pregnant women usually experience swelling in the morning, progressessing throughout the day and increasing in the evening or night. If proper rest is taken, swelling reduces.
When should you worry?
If the swelling doesn’t reduce even after taking proper rest, it needs attention. Furthermore, if swelling increases only in one leg and is accompanied by breathlessness, dizziness, blurring of vision, chest pain, and bad headache, immediate attention must be given.
Dr. Arati Adhe, a consultant in Gynaecology and IVF, suggests that if you experience mild swelling during pregnancy, some simple changes in your lifestyle can help alleviate it. Here are some tips she recommends:
- Avoid adding extra salt to your food, as it can increase your sodium intake and lead to swelling.
- Include potassium-rich foods in your diet, such as bananas, spinach, potatoes, beans, and fruits like pomegranate and oranges, which can help reduce swelling.
- Limit your caffeine intake because it can cause more water loss and increase sodium. Drink enough water to stay hydrated.
- Elevate your feet with a pillow whenever you lie down, and aim for eight hours of sleep at night to help manage swelling.
There’s a normal level of swelling that affects most expecting ladies. However, one must take extra care during pregnancy and visit a physician regularly.