How Can I Reduce Swelling in My Ankles During Pregnancy?

prenatal health

How Can I Reduce Swelling in My Ankles During Pregnancy?

Today I will be showing you some techniques you can use to help reduce the risk of your ankles swelling. Please make sure you chat to your doctor as this could be a more serious health matter that needs addressing.

I want you to watch my short 3 minute video above where I provide you with some actionable and easy to do exercises for your ankles.

When Do Feet Start Swelling During Pregnancy?

You will likely notice your feet and ankles swelling around week 21 to week 27 of pregnancy. From this point onwards you will likely experience swelling until you give birth.

When to See Your Doctor

While swelling in the feet is a normal part of pregnancy; there can sometimes be a more serious problem associate with this swelling.

One of these problems is called preeclampsia. This is a condition that can develop during pregnancy and causes dangerously high blood pressure.

Call your doctor if you notice:
  1. Dizziness or blurred vision.
  2. Sudden swelling of your hands, feet, face, or around your eyes.
  3. Confusion.
  4. Swelling that gets dramatically worse.
  5. A severe headache.
  6. Difficulty breathing.

So if you notice a lot of swelling this early on, especially if accompanied by other symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, or bleeding, please call your doctor.

What Causes Swollen Ankles and Feet?

When you are pregnant, edema occurs when body fluids increase to nurture both you and your baby. As a result, these fluids accumulate in your tissues due to increased blood flow and pressure of your growing uterus on the pelvic veins and your vena cava.

Swelling in the First Trimester

You will quickly learn how pregnancy hormones can wreak havoc on your body. The ever increasing levels of the hormone progesterone slow your digestion down. This can cause abdominal bloating. You may notice a bit of puffiness in your hands, feet, or face, but not much.

Swelling in the Second Trimester

This swelling is due to the increasing volume of blood and fluids in your body. Your blood volume increases by about 50 % during the course of your pregnancy.

The benefit of this is to soften your body and prepare it for giving birth. This extra fluid will rapidly decrease after your baby is born.

Swelling in the Third Trimester

The third trimester is the most common time to experience swollen feet. Your body is continuing to build its supply of blood and fluids, which can contribute to swelling.

Other factors that cause swelling in the feet are:
  1. Increased caffeine intake.
  2. Hot weather conditions.
  3. Not drinking enough water.
  4. Standing on your feet for long periods of time.
  5. Dietary imbalances.
How Can I Reduce Swelling in My Ankles during Pregnancy?

I want you to start by watching my video that will give you some good exercises you can do at home. Also, here are some tips to help you.

1. Reduce Sodium Intake

You may be able to reduce swelling during pregnancy by limiting your sodium (or salt) intake. Salt makes your body hold on to extra water. Be sure to check with your doctor as for some pregnant women, they need to increase their levels of sodium.

2. Reduce Caffeine Intake

Drinking too much caffeine can also make swelling worse. Caffeine is a diuretic, which causes you to pee more, which then makes your body think it needs to hold on to fluid.

3. Increase Potassium Intake

Being deficient in potassium can also make swelling worse, as potassium helps your body balance the amount of fluids it holds onto.

4. Stay Hydrated

Drink more water will help. If your body thinks you're dehydrated, it will hold on to even more fluid to try to compensate.

5. Stay cool

Avoid vigorous exercise out doors in the heat. Exercise inside as this can help keep you cool and reduce swelling.

6. Walk

I loved walking when I was pregnant and for good reason. Going for walk a couple times a day can help improve your circulation, which helps reduce swelling.

7. Wear comfortable shoes

Wearing comfortable shoes is key to reducing foot swelling, as well as to preventing hip and back problems that can arise as your center of gravity shifts and your weight increases.

8. A Massage May Help

Massage helps circulate the fluids that tend to accumulate in your feet, which will in turn reduce swelling.

9. Sleep on your left side

Sleeping on your left side when possible can improve blood flow, which reduces swelling of the feet.

The Takeaway

It is important to know that swelling in your ankles is a very common side effect of pregnancy. But if you experience sudden or severe swelling, it's important to call your doctor, as this may be a sign of something more serious.