Causes of Swollen Feet During Pregnancy and Ways to Reduce Swelling

There are many physiological and pathological changes observed in pregnant women. Some are minor with no cause of worry, while few can lead to many complications during the course of pregnancy and labor. Swollen feet during pregnancy are one such problem faced by many women. Swelling of feet is also termed as edema. It is caused due to collection of excess of fluid in the tissue. Certain amount of swelling is common for a pregnant woman as the body retains more water. Even hormonal changes occurring in the body tend to cause certain amount of swelling.

Swelling of feet is more prominent in the third trimester.

Swollen Feet During Pregnancy When to Worry

When swelling increases to other parts of the body such as in the hands, face and around the eyes, it is a cause of worry. Or when there is severe sudden swelling, or swelling of one leg with pain in the leg and calf muscle. Severe swelling is a sign of pre-eclampsia, the other symptoms are rapid weight gain, high blood pressure, blurred vision and headache. Swelling in one leg can be due to deep vein thrombosis of the lower extremities.

When either of these two things is present, you have to inform your gynaecologist.

How to Reduce Swollen Feet During Pregnancy

  • Avoid standing on your feet for a long time.
  • Avoid sitting with your feet on the floor for long period.
  • While sitting, keep your feet on stool.
  • Rotate your ankles frequently.
  • Walk for a while after sitting or standing, to keep healthy blood circulation.
  • Avoid wearing fit clothing.
  • Restrict salt intake.
  • Elevate your legs while you sleep. Keep two pillows under your feet to elevate your legs.
  • Wear maternity stocking.
  • Regular waking exercise or swimming reduces swelling in the ankles and feet.
  • Home remedy: Lecithin seeds are effective in reducing the swollen feet during pregnancy. Take 1 to 2 teaspoon of the seeds daily in the morning for few months to reduce the swelling.
  • Eat food rich in vitamin E. spinach, almond oil; wheat germ is the rich source of vitamin E.

Causes of Swollen Feet During Pregnancy

You have to be cautious with swollen feet during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. During pregnancy, growing uterus presses the pelvic veins and the vena cava. Vena cava is the large vein on right side of abdomen which carries the blood from lower extremities to the heart. The pressure on veins slows down the blood flow which results into excess of pooling in the lower limbs. This forces the fluid from the veins to slip into the tissue of lower limbs. Due to gravitation the fluid gets collected in the feet and the ankle. High intake of salt is also one reason for swelling. Hot temperature, drinking excess of tea and coffee, hormonal changes etc are other causes of swollen feet during pregnancy.

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