What Can I Do to Help Prevent Excessive Swelling?
During the course of your pregnancy, if you notice that your feet are swelling it is important that you do what you can to help your body rid itself of the excess fluid. The best way to reduce swelling is to lay down on your left side, which relieves some of the pressure on your pelvis and vena cava (large vein responsible for returning blood from your lower body back to your heart) and allows for maximum blood flow. However, if you are working and laying down isn’t an option try these tips to help keep your feet from swelling too much:
- Avoid excessive salt.
- Do eat a balanced diet and avoid junk food.
- Avoid excessive caffeine.
- Put your feet up as much as possible (put a stack of books or something under your desk so that your feet are elevated)
- Drink plenty of water
- Stretch your legs while you are sitting (stretching your calf muscles, wiggle your toes, rotate your ankles)
- Don’t wear tight or conforming shoes, find comfortable shoes that will expand with your swollen feet.
- Don’t cross your legs or ankles when you are sitting.
- Take frequent breaks when you have to sit or stand for long periods of time.
- Take a short walk to help keep the blood from pooling in your legs.
- Don’t wear socks that have a tight bands at the top; instead, find comfortable socks that are free of tight bands and stretch easily.
- Buy waist high maternity stockings or use compression socks. If you buy these, make sure that you put them on immediately after getting out of bed so that the blood doesn’t have a chance to pool in your legs.
- Exercise if it is physically possible. Water aerobics or swimming is a great way to exercise because the water takes the pressure off your joints and it is low impact. Plus it will help reduce swelling.
The good news is your swelling is only temporary and will go away on its own once you delivery your baby. It is important that you take care of yourself and your unborn baby.
Did your feet swell during pregnancy? How did you reduce the swelling?