Are you suffering from big swollen feet during your pregnancy? It can be very painful and frustrating I know! I too suffered from swollen feet and ankles in my third trimester and it was hard to find comfortable shoes to wear and hard to walk around without feeling clunky. Here is the best way to naturally reduce the swelling in your feet and get relief!!
Your pregnant body in the first trimester starts to retain more fluid and your hormones all change, as your uterus grows it will start to “put pressure on your veins, which impairs return of blood to your heart, ” according to mayoclinic.org. The vena cava (large vein on your right side) returns your blood from your legs and feet to your heart and because of the pressure from your uterus, it is slowed down causing the swelling you see.
Before you start to think something may be wrong, let’s go over a few things such as when to be concerned, what you can do that will help with swelling and how to reduce the swelling you already have.
Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
Swelling is a normal pregnancy symptom, it’s not just you suffering with it, believe me! Edema affects most women around 22 to 27 weeks and can last all the way up to birth, many things can affect how swollen you are such as the weather, how much water you drank and how long you are on your feet.
During your pregnancy, you are going to notice some swelling in all different parts of your body but due to gravity and your growing belly, most of the swelling will be in your feet and ankles. Not what you wanted to hear I know but that’s how it goes.
You are going to have problems getting into shoes or tying the ones you normally wear if you aren’t having this problem already!
My best advice is to wear bigger shoes that you can slip on and off (I wore crocs and they worked really well for the last month or two) ones that you aren’t going to be uncomfortable wearing or tripping on as you walk (clumsiness is part of pregnancy haha so you need to be careful).
When to Worry About Swelling
Here are the things you need to be aware of not to scare you but to help you in case you get any of these signs, they are signs of preeclampsia which is in plain English means high blood pressure that endangers you and your baby.
Preeclampsia only happens to pregnant women and can occur after 20 weeks causing high blood pressure and protein to show up in your urine, this is why your doctor will check your blood pressure and have you pee in a cup each visit to make sure things are going well.
One of the things about preeclampsia is that it sometimes masks other pregnancy symptoms so that you don’t notice something is wrong, these symptoms are as follows.
- Swelling – When you press your finger into the swollen area it leaves an imprint.
- Headache – Severe headache followed by dizziness
- Nausea or Throwing up – If you have been over morning sickness for a few months and suddenly start getting sick call your doctor.
- Abdominal pain or Shoulder pain – Deep pinching by your shoulder blade or on the neck, can also occur under the ribs. Call your doctor immediately it could be your liver causing problems.
- Lower back pain – If this is accompanied by rib or shoulder pain call your doctor, this is a sign of liver problems as well.
- Vision Changes – If you get spots, halos, blurred vision, become light sensitive, or see flashing lights, these are signs of swelling in the brain and need immediate attention.
- Weight Gain – If you aren’t overeating and you start gaining weight quickly this is a sign of damage to blood vessels and water retention, another sign of preeclampsia.
- Shortness of breath or Anxiety – Racing heart, sense of panic, confusion or extreme anxiety are all signs you could have preeclampsia.
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How to Reduce Swelling in your Feet During Pregnancy
- Elevate – Try to lay down and elevate your feet above your heart for a half an hour and also use a pillow under your feet at night. This pillow works awesome, I highly recommend it!!
- Stay Off Your Feet – Staying off your feet for long periods of time will help your feet not swell up so much. If you do have to be on your feet use something under one of them and switch feet every once in a while.
- Limit Salt – Watch how much salt you take in, don’t eat overly salted food or snacks.
- Drink Water – The more water you drink the less you will swell, drink at least eight cups and also juice or other drinks that have water in them.
- Walk – Going for walks will increase circulation and help reduce swelling, take short walks every half hour or hour even if it is around your house.
- Compression Socks – Wear compression socks to provide relief from pain and prevent swelling in your ankles and feet. Try these compression socks, they work great and are super cute!
- Epsom Salts – Soak your feet in Epsom salts for 15 minutes to reduce swelling and get relief.
- Magnesium Supplements – Magnesium is a great way to help limit water retention, you should always talk to your health care provider before taking any supplements in case of health issues.
- Weight loss – Losing weight will help reduce water retention and increase circulation, eat a healthy diet (only do this if you need to lose weight, talk to your doctor).
- Cabbage Wraps – Wrapping cold cabbage leaves around your feet will remove the swelling and provide relief, wrap them for 30 minutes and wait, the cabbage will draw out the extra fluid. It sounds like a strange thing to do but it really works, this also works for breast pain!!
Preventing Swelling After Pregnancy
The concept is pretty much the same as listed above, drink plenty of water, put your feet up, avoid salt and use compression socks. However sometimes as in the case of having surgery (c section), you will not be able to avoid some swelling but you can still control it by following these steps.
Walking is another way to help circulate the fluid so your body can get rid of it, you may find yourself using the bathroom more than usual which is a good sign because you are getting rid of the excess fluid.
If you find that nothing else is helping use the cabbage leaves to remove fluid from your feet, it really does work well!!
Final Thought on Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
These are the best natural remedies for swollen feet, I tried all of these when I was pregnant and found a lot of relief after using these. Swelling is one of the worst symptoms of pregnancy especially in your third trimester when you already feel tired and your backaches.
For more information on how to deal with back pain during pregnancy, you may want to read this article on 13 Ways To Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy
The best advice is to stay off your feet for long periods of time and get plenty of exercise along with eating healthy meals and snacks. This will all help prevent you from having a problem with swelling in the first place and keep you and your baby healthy and strong.
Remember the warning signs and don’t pass them off as normal pregnancy symptoms if you see them, when in doubt call your doctor or go to the ER, it’s better to be safe then ending up in the hospital in a bad state.