Pregnancy comes at a cost, which means it has its pros and cons. And for many moms-to-be, it shows up in the form of certain side effects. From the start of pregnancy to delivery, a mother has to go through a lot during the process. One of the most common complications during this time is swelling of the feet, or what the experts refer to as edema.
Edema in the feet can occur at any stage of pregnancy, but it can get severe during the third trimester. According to the American Pregnancy Association, swelling is a normal part of pregnancy that is caused by additional blood and fluid that the body produces to meet the needs of the developing baby.
However, there are some ways that can help to reduce the swelling. Let’s take a look at them:
A commonly used home remedy is to soak your legs in a tub of warm water. Epsom salt foot soak doesn’t just reduce swelling and inflammation, but also can help with muscle pain.
You can also take a full epsom salt bath by adding it to your bathtub. Just make sure the water isn’t too hot!
Standing for too long puts excess pressure on your feet, making the swelling worse. So, whenever you’re resting or lying down, elevate your legs on a pillow or a foot rest. Do it for 20 minutes, 3-4 times per day. This will relieve the swelling in the lower extremities.
You can try reducing swollen feet while in your pregnancy by including potassium-rich foods on your plate. Potassium deficiency in the body leads to water retention and high blood pressure. It is an important mineral because it helps maintain the salt to water ratio in the body. Some potassium-rich foods include:
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Available at your local drug store, compression socks provide pain relief and prevent fluid collection in your legs, ankles and feet by helping in the maintenance of blood flow, thereby reducing discomfort and swelling.
Surprisingly, staying hydrated helps your body retain less water. Drinking plenty of liquid can help to reduce swelling. When your body is dehydrated, it holds onto the fluid it has, which contributes to swelling. So, drink 7-8 glasses of water a day and stay hydrated.
Massage can be great for swollen feet and also promotes relaxation. During pregnancy, swelling is common. Massaging your feet is an effective way to provide relief to swollen feet, as it will move the fluid away and reduce swelling.
Because the cause behind swelling can vary from person to person, these remedies might not be effective for everyone. If none of these are able to alleviate your swollen feet, you should see your doctor.
While swelling in feet generally causes no harm to the mother, in some cases, it is a characteristic sign of developing a serious condition known as preeclampsia. When swelling comes on suddenly, be it through excessive swelling in the face, skin pitting, blood pressure, severe headaches, and decreased urine output; it’s important to consult your doctor.