Pregnancy doesnt only force you to go dress shopping but you might also find yourself searching for a bigger pair of shoes.
Edema or swollen ankles and hands are common during pregnancy and affect almost three fourth of all pregnant women. So why exactly does your extremities swell?
First off, your body expands under the effect of the fetus growing in the uterus and weight gain. Typically, women gain around 20 lbs during pregnancy and this sudden increase in weight puts a pressure on your feet making them swell up.
Another reason is that your baby needs fluid to develop and your body too needs fluid to expand and make way for the fetus. An increase in the amount of fluid and a change in the bloods composition encourages more fluid to flow towards and get absorbed in the tissues. Since, your hands and feet are at the extreme end of the body; these tend to swell up too.
Edema is not a cause for worry but if you notice one of your feet more swollen than the other, you might want a second opinion from your gynecologist or midwife.
How to reduce swelling?
Avoid standing for prolonged periods as that would put more pressure on the feet and increase the swelling.
Rest as much as you can, get your daily dose of beauty sleep.
Whenever possible put your feet straight up on a table or resting surface and avoid sitting cross-legged at the ankle.
Wear comfortable shoes. Do not try to force puffed up feet in your old shoes; Aerobic footwear are the most comfortable and store your heel shoes for a couple of months. Also, avoid wearing tight socks and stockings, especially around the ankles.
Your body needs a good amount of fluid during pregnancy and to keep your body hydrated and maintain a steady flow of fluid within the body, make sure that you drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day.
Keep a tab on your diet. It is advisable to gain weight during pregnancy but that does not mean that you would indulge in everything available. Do not gain more weight than necessary and keep a tab on your intake of sweet and fatty food, try to get your daily necessary caloric requirement from healthy food.
Massage your feet with warm oil to abate the swelling and this is great for relaxation too.
Yoga or water aerobics are great for edema as well as helps in better development of the baby.
Some feet exercises
Put your feet up aligned to your body, bend them forward as much as you can and then bend them backwards. Alternate and repeat for ten times.
Rotate your feet 10 times in a clockwise direction and then 10 times in an anti-clockwise direction. Repeat with the other foot.
Walking for half an hour at a slower pace helps to maintain and improve the circulation in the feet and thus prevent and reduce puffiness.