Pregnancy and Swollen Feet

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Pregnancy and Swollen Feet

Feet swelling mostly accompanied by ankle swelling in pregnant is a common accurence among them. It is medically known as EDEMA. It affects about three quarters of pregnant women and starts around week 22 to week 27 of pregnancy and will likely stick around until you give birth (on the bright side, pretty soon you won’t be able to see anything below your belly anyway).

Various factors contribute to foot and ankle swelling during pregnancy, here are some of these factors:-

  • Your body retains more fluid during pregnancy. Thus is because through out the day, water tends to gather in the lowest parts of the body, especially if the weather is hot or you have been standing a lot.
  • Your growing uterus puts pressure on your veins, which impairs return of blood from your leg to your heart. This can cause fluid (blood and water) to build up in your legs, ankles and feet.
  • Hormonal changes also play a role.

Excessive swelling can be one sign of preeclampsia but when it is, it’s accompanied by a variety of other symptoms like ;

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Rapid weight gain and protein in the urine but If your blood pressure and urine are normal (they’re checked at each antenatal visit), there’s nothing to be concerned about.
  • Upper abdominal pain usually under your ribs especially to the right side
  • Reduced urine output
  • Shortness of breath due to water retainment on your lungs and restlessness.

THERE is another type of swelling in the legs known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein. This Deep Vein Thrombosis tends to only affect one leg (usually the left leg) and might cause a feeling of heaviness or pain that gets worse when you stand up, or skin that’s red or warm to the touch. If you notice any of these signs, call your practitioner right away.

Ways to prevent your legs from swelling while pregnant;

  • Take breaks and have a seat, if you are sitting down a lot, take a 5-minute stroll at least once an hour).
  • Elevate your legs when you’re sitting
  • Engage in pregnancy-friendly exercise, such as walking which keeps the blood flowing
  • Do not wear very tight elastic-top socks or stockings. Your goal is to let blood and fluids flow as freely as possible (socks that leave an indentation mark around your leg are likely too tight).
  • Wear comfortable shoes preferably flats. Especially while you’re out (those sexy heels don’t fit now, anyway). While doing this, remember that it can reduce the back and leg pain you may feel from walking or standing for too long.
  • Drink lots of water. It may seem counterintuitive to try to flush out fluids with fluids, but drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day will help your body get rid of excess sodium and other waste products in your system thereby minimizing swelling.
  • Reduce you salt consumption but taking less than your body requires can also cause swelling so don’t cut it out completely. But like everything, it’s best to keep your intake in moderation.


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