Pregnancy is truly a magical time for any mother-to-be, however, while eagerly anticipating the arrival of your small bundle of joy, there are some side effects that you can experience that are a little less pleasant. There can be a certain discomfort as the body changes rapidly and one that many women experience is swollen feet.
Swelling happens due to your body’s increase in blood flow and fluids. This happens because all the extra fluid helps your body soften and be prepared for giving birth. As your baby grows, your uterus gets heavier, slowing the blood flow from your legs to the heart which is not dangerous, just uncomfortable. You can expect to see swelling symptoms in the second half of your pregnancy, so here are some simple steps you can take to help reduce it.
1.Stick to a Balanced Diet
Getting all the necessary nutrients and minerals is important since they help your body process all the extra fluids. Potassium helps with fluid balance, so it is important to eat foods that contain good amounts of this mineral.
Another way to reduce swelling is by limiting your sodium (salt) intake. Avoid canned or processed foods, and try not to put extra salt on your meals, since it can make your body hold onto extra water. Instead, try using savory herbs to add extra flavor to your food.
2. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is important to counteract swelling. Your body will hold onto even more fluid if it thinks you are dehydrated, so try to drink a minimum of 10 glasses of water per day. Not only will your body be happily hydrated, but your kidneys will keep flushing out the bad stuff as well.
3. Comfortable Shoes
Wearing comfortable shoes will not only reduce swelling but will also help you avoid hip and back problems that can occur as your weight increases. Besides the swelling, the ligaments in your body stretch when you are pregnant, so your feet size might change as well. If you are unsure of what type of shoes are best, websites like Shoes Consultant provide advice on great shoes for pregnancy, so you can easily find out what some of the best choices are.
4. Elevate Your Feet and Rest Wear
Sitting all the time might not be good for circulation, but standing for too long is also hard on the body. Even if you have a million things to do, try to sit and elevate your feet whenever you can. This can help drain the fluid that has been pooling in your legs during the day, so try doing this especially at night.
5. Walk or Swim
Walking is a pregnancy-safe exercise and it improves your circulation. Going on a 5-10 minute walk a few times per day will help reduce swelling and is also a good way to take a break. Although it is not scientifically proven, many women find relief from swelling by spending some time in the pool. If nothing else, swimming will make you feel cooler and lighter, and you will get a little exercise as well.
6. Sleep on Your Left Side
This can help improve your blood flow, so lie down or sleep on your left side whenever possible. It also takes the pressure off of the inferior vena cava – a large blood vessel that returns blood to your heart which is often compressed by the uterus.
7. Wear Comfortable Clothes
Tight clothing can slow circulation, so opt for loose, comfortable clothes. If nothing else, at least avoid anything with tight elastic bands. Waist-high compression stockings are also great for fluid circulation since they gently squeeze your feet and legs.
During pregnancy, the fluid volume in the body increases while circulation decreases and this is what leads to swelling. A little swelling is completely normal and swollen feet are a very common pregnancy side effect. You can lessen it by following these tips above and before you know it, your old shoes will fit again with ease.