It’s not unusual to notice that your feet are swelling in your second trimester, around week 22 to week 27 of pregnancy. Swelling occurs because your body fluids increase and your blood volume just about doubles. Even though these extra fluids can be uncomfortable, this is exactly what you want to help soften your body and prepare to give birth. Luckily, the swelling will rapidly decrease after the baby is born, and there are several tips you can follow to reduce swollen feet during pregnancy.
Wear Compression Socks
When you wake up in the morning, the swelling is usually minimal because you’ve been lying down. Yet, swelling develops as you sit up and walk around. If you struggle with swelling every day, compression socks will help keep fluid circulating by providing a gentle squeeze to your feet and legs. It’s best to put them on at the start of the day, as they’re better at preventing swelling than making it go away.
Prop Your Feet Up
Elevating your feet for 20 minutes three times a day will do wonders for your swollen feet. Gather throw pillows or accent cushions to prop your feet up slightly above your heart. This way, gravity works in your favor. Oxygen-depleted blood returns to your heart, the blood flow in your legs improves, and you drain excess fluid more effectively.
Reduce Your Sodium Intake
Another way to reduce swelling is to limit your sodium intake. Since salt makes your body retain water, check the nutritional labels of foods to see how much salt they contain. It’s best to avoid canned or processed foods, as they tend to have higher amounts. An easy alternative is using savory herbs like oregano, rosemary, and thyme to add flavor to your recipes.
Drink Lots of Water
It may sound counterintuitive to drink more water. Yet, when your body is dehydrated, it’ll actually hold onto more fluids. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day will help your kidneys flush out excess sodium and other waste products. Adding mint leaves, lemon slices, or berries can make drinking lots of water more enjoyable.
Opt For Comfortable Shoes
While your high heels look stunning, you’ll feel your best in shoes that provide much-needed cushioning and support. Opt for comfortable, well-fitting shoes to reduce swelling and even prevent hip and back problems as your weight increases. They should provide good arch support, have a wide toe box, and not be too loose or tight. As the ligaments in your body stretch during pregnancy, you may need to buy new shoes. It’s annoying for sure, but it’s an excellent excuse to splurge on some new favorites.
Go On a Walk
Once your shoes are on, you’re ready for a stroll around the block! Going out for even a 5- or 10-minute walk a couple of times a day can improve your circulation and help reduce swelling. Many women also find it relaxing to swim in the pool. While swimming may not reduce swelling all that much, you’ll at least feel lighter, cooler, and get a little exercise. Light, regular exercise during pregnancy can also help you sleep more soundly.
Sleep on Your Left Side
As you climb into bed at the end of the day, consider sleeping on your left side. Why not the back or your right side, you ask? This particular sleeping position takes the pressure off the large vein that returns blood from the lower half of your body to your heart. You can rest well knowing you’ll wake up feeling refreshed.
Visit The Foot & Ankle Center
For a personalized treatment plan and help managing your pain, visit The Foot & Ankle Center! Our expert podiatrists specialize in a wide range of foot and ankle ailments. We even offer same-day appointments to help keep your mind at ease and get you back to living a full and healthy life. Get started today! Give us a call at 314-487-9300 or request an appointment online.