This post is all about ways to reduce swelling during pregnancy.
Pregnancy brings about a lot of physical changes to your body. One such change that usually appears during the end of the pregnancy is swelling.
It is believed that about 50 percent of expectant mothers suffer from swollen feet. Swelling of the face and fingers is also common during pregnancy.
What Is the Cause of Swelling During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, your body produces more blood and fluid to meet the increasing nutritional requirements of the growing baby. This fluid softens the tissues in your body, which results in swelling or edema. In addition to this, hormonal changes and the pressure exerted on the veins can also result in swelling.
In some instances, the excess weight of the body during pregnancy results in the flattening of the arch in the feet. When this happens, the tissue lining the bottom of the feet is stretched. This is one reason why you find the bottom of feet swollen during pregnancy.
Home Remedies for Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
Here are some simple to follow home remedies that can help reduce swelling during pregnancy.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water can flush out the excess fluid in your body. This helps to reduce swelling.
When you are dehydrated, it indicates the body to hold on to fluid to maintain hydration. This can result in swelling. Thus, drinking plenty of water helps to drain off all the excess fluid in your body.
Ideally, a pregnant woman should drink 8 -10 glasses of liquid. This can be in the form of water and fresh fruit juices.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Excess sodium in the diet can cause swelling of the hands and feet. You should consume a well-balanced diet consisting of fruits and vegetables.
Make sure that you do not put excess table salt in your food. Similarly, cut back on processed and packed food as it contains a lot of sodium.
Swelling can also be caused by a decrease in the potassium level of the body. Try to take food containing more potassium like potato, banana, beans, yogurt and lentils.
Another cause for swelling is water retention in your body. This could be because of magnesium deficiency. Try to eat foods that are rich in magnesium like cashew, broccoli, almonds, and avocados.
Decrease Caffeine Intake
Caffeine can increase urination, which results in dehydration (are we seeing a common theme here?!). This can worsen the swelling.
If kicking your coffee addiction is hard, try going for decaf coffee with milk. Instead of caffeinated coffee, try to take peppermint tea that contains enough nutrients for the body.
Keep Your Legs Raised
Keep your legs in an elevated position whenever you sit or lie down. This helps with the proper flow of blood and fluid to your heart.
You can use a leg elevation pillow to comfortably keep your legs raised while lying down. This pillow has a 45-degree inclination that provides proper rest and reduces swelling in the legs: a pregnancy must-have!
Sleep On Your Side
When lying down, make sure that you sleep on your left side. This helps in the proper circulation of blood, which helps to reduce the swelling.
Soak Your Leg In Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt can draw out the toxin from the body and thus reduce the swelling. Make a bath with Epsom salt and keep your feet immersed in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
Engaging in physical activities also helps to reduce swelling to a great extent. Walking and swimming are activities that are safe to carry out during pregnancy. While going for a walk, make sure that you wear well-fitting shoes that provide proper support to your leg.
If it is difficult to go for a walk, then you can incorporate small exercises like stretching and bending your feet and rotating the feet in your daily routine. Even a short walk in between work also helps to reduce the swelling on your feet.
Wear Loose Clothes
Tight-fitting clothes, especially around the ankle and wrist, can hinder the free flow of blood. You should wear loose-fitting and comfortable garments.
Try to go for loose cotton maxis during summer. Flowy cardigans or sweaters are suitable during winter.
Keeping your body cool also helps to reduce the swelling considerably. During hot summer months, try to stay indoor wearing comfortable cotton clothes. You can also put cold compressors or cold therapy socks to reduce the swelling.
The cold therapy socks come with half-length and full-length cold packs. While the half-length pack can be placed above the foot, the full length can be placed under the foot. Within a few seconds of wearing the socks with the cold pack, the swelling can be reduced.
Wear Compression Socks
Standing for a long time is not advisable during pregnancy, especially when you have swelling of your feet. But if standing cannot be avoided, then you can use compression socks.
The compression socks improve the circulation of blood, thereby reducing swelling. Since the socks are available in different sizes, you can select one depending on the size of your leg.
Get A Massage
The excess weight on your body puts too much pressure on your feet. A good massage helps in the proper circulation of blood and fluid which helps in reducing swelling.
You can ask your partner to provide you with a foot massage using essential oils like lavender or peppermint for a soothing feel. But make sure that the massage is very gentle so that it does not trigger the pressure points of your body.
Swelling of the hands and feet is very common during pregnancy. Under normal circumstances, there is nothing to worry about.
But if the swelling increases drastically or if the swelling does not subside even after taking all the necessary precautions, then you should consult your doctor to make sure everything is okay.
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