Undoubtedly, you must be having a delightful time during your pregnancy. Keenly awaiting the arrival of your beloved little child, since it is a thrilling phase. It is a meaningful journey, both emotionally as well as physically. There are a few changes a woman goes through during her pregnancy. One of these changes is swollen feet during pregnancy.
Pregnancy can have an immense result on feet. More than half of expectant mothers experience swollen feet during pregnancy. But swollen feet in pregnancy are often neglected. Women must know more about foot problems during pregnancy to help make this magical period more pleasant for them. Before addressing the approaches to deal with swollen feet during pregnancy let’s understand the reason behind this.
Causes of Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
Let’s read about the changes that women face during different phases of pregnancy.
1. First Trimester
The first trimester is the period between fertilization of the egg by the sperm and week 12 of pregnancy. During pregnancy, there are increasing levels of the hormone called progesterone. This results in the abdominal bloating way before you start noticing a baby bump. You may start to observe signs like swelling in your feet and hands.
2. Second Trimester
The second trimester begins with week 14 of pregnancy. Progressively you’ll start observing swollen feet in the fifth month of pregnancy. The swelling is the result of the rising volume of fluids in your body. Your body is proceeding to develop its supply of blood and fluids, which contributes to swollen feet and ankles during pregnancy. Which serves to prepare it for giving birth.
3. Third Trimester
The third trimester of your pregnancy lasts from week 29 to week 40. The end of this beautiful phase is near. At this stage of pregnancy, it tends to range from tiredness and despair to excitement about the baby.
This is the most common time to feel swollen feet. Your uterus will start becoming much heavier as your baby grows, which can slow blood flow from the legs back to the heart. Also, during this period the position your infant is in becomes more critical now.
Anatomy Behind Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
Here are some of the anatomy behind swollen feet during pregnancy
During pregnancy, there is a change in blood chemistry which results in the fluid to move into the tissue. The uterus starts to enlarge by increased pressure in the pelvic veins. As the return of blood from the legs decreases, the fluid flows from the veins into the tissues in the feet and ankles.
It is also recognized as flat feet that occur during pregnancy This is the result of weight gain during pregnancy. This happens when the arch of the foot flattens out due to weight gain.
Simultaneously increased pressure on the plantar fascia is the result of the tissues that connect the heel to the front of the foot causing inflammation.
Home Remedies for Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
Swollen feet during pregnancy are quite common. Fortunately, there are a few home remedies you can try to decrease the swelling.
- Cut down on Caffeine: It is well-known that caffeine is a diuretic, which implies increased passage of urine, resulting in dehydration and fluid retention. So, it is advisable to Replace your caffeine with a cup of tea.
- Work out for 30 minutes every day: Yoga or walking can increase your blood circulation throughout your body to avoid more swelling in your feet.
Also flexing your knees and ankles. If you stand or sit in one place for a long period, this will result in swollen feet. Taking a walk after a meal for even 20 minutes can help you avoid foot problems during pregnancy.
- Make sure you drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day: Getting enough fluids does assist lessen inflammation. If your body is not hydrated, it holds onto the liquid it does have. This adds to swollen feet during pregnancy.
- Raise or elevate your feet: Make yourself comfortable by propping your feet on cushions and pillows when you sleep.
If you want to overcome swollen feet during pregnancy, try elevating your feet various times a day. Practice this for about 20 minutes at a time.
- Massage your feet: You can overcome swollen feet by massaging your feet on a daily basis. Massage or ask someone to massage them for you. This will increase the blood flow in the area leading to reduced swelling.
- Sleep on your left side: While sleeping on your left side you can improve circulation in your body, which will reduce swelling in your feet.
- Increase the intake of Magnesium supplements and nutrients
Eating foods rich in magnesium can help to avoid water retention. Some magnesium-rich foods include:
- Dark chocolate
- Green leafy vegetables
- Soy sauce
- Whole grains
You can also include potassium-rich foods: Like sweet potatoes, white beans, bananas, salmon, pistachios, sunflower seed and chicken. Lack of potassium can lead to high blood pressure.
Word of caution: When to see a doctor
At times swollen feet and ankles can lead to a more severe problem. One of these problems is Preeclampsia. A condition during pregnancy identified by high blood pressure and fluid retention.
Approach your doctor if you observe:
- Immediate swelling of your hands, feet and face.
- If your swelling gets worse
- Dizziness or blurred vision
- A severe headache
- Difficulty in breathing
If you experience only one-foot swelling during pregnancy followed by discomfort, redness, or heat, this could mean that you have a Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT. A condition where there is a blood clot in your leg. It is advisable to call your doctor in such situations. They are keen to help keep you and your little one safe and healthy from swollen feet during pregnancy!
Also Read: Hip Pain During Pregnancy: Causes and Treatment