Are you experiencing the condition of swollen ankles and feet? Usually, this condition is known as edema during pregnancy. This happens when the excess fluids collect in your tissues.
Having certain amount of swelling during pregnancy is normal as you retain more water at this time.
Also, some changes in your blood chemistry can lead to shift of the fluid into the tissues.
Also, the pressure of the growing uterus on your pelvic veins and vena cava can slow the return of blood from your legs, thus leading it to pool.
This causes the fluid from the veins to enter into the tissues of your feet and ankles.
When does edema occur in your pregnancy?
You will experience swelling at any point of pregnancy. But, the condition is noticeable around the fifth month and it can become severe during the third trimester.
Particularly, during the end of the day you will experience more swelling in your ankles and feet. The factors that trigger edema during pregnancy include:
- Diet lack of potassium
- Diet rich in sodium
- Caffeine consumption in large amounts
- Long days of activity
- Standing for longer periods
- Summertime heat
- Not drinking enough water
When you should worry about the swelling?
Certain amount of edema during pregnancy is normal. You will also have mild swelling in your hands. If you observe swelling in your face, more than mild swelling in your hands, sudden or excessive swelling in your ankles and feet or puffiness under your eyes, then immediately call your midwife. These conditions are the signs of pre eclampsia, which is the most serious condition during your pregnancy.
How to prevent edema during pregnancy?
You can reduce swelling with the consumption of foods that are rich in potassium like bananas. Avoid caffeine intake. Some other helpful tips to prevent edema during pregnancy include:
- Avoid the activities that need sitting or standing for longer hours and take frequent breaks.
- Keep your feet elevated as often as you can.
- Don’t cross your legs or ankles while sitting.
- Minimize spending time in outdoors when it is too hot.
- Wear helpful stockings and tights.
- Swim or rest in a pool.
- Wear comfortable sandals and avoid wearing high heels.
- Keep your body hydrated, drink more and more water as this helps to flush your body to reduce the water retention.
- Don’t wear the clothes that are tight around your wrists or ankles.
- Apply cold compress at swollen areas.
- Minimize the consumption of sodium and don’t add excess salt to the meals, which promotes water retention.
- Exercise regularly as it can improve the circulation [pregnancy exercise].
Home remedies to prevent edema during pregnancy:
- Barley water is a good diuretic that helps greatly in reducing the swelling.
- Take coriander leaves and boil them in two cups of water. Stop boiling when the liquid is decreased to one cup and drink the liquid.
- Take rest by keeping your feet up for short intervals of time.
- Keep your feet under running cold water for 10-15 minutes before resting. This will provide relief from edema and this is a good home remedy for swelling of feet.
- Avoid coffee and alcoholic drinks because they cause dehydration of the body from required fluids.
Don’t ignore the condition when it becomes severe because this is the symptom of preeclampsia. Immediately consult your doctor or midwife.