Swelling of the ankles and feet in pregnancy
Swelling of the feet and ankles happen in over 50% of all pregnancies. It is most ordinary in the third trimester, for the duration of the warmer months and at the end of the day.
This is a result of your growing uterus putting force on your pelvic veins which in turn slows down the return of blood from your legs. This reasons blood to pool and forces fluid from your veins into the tissues of your feet and ankles.
To reduce swelling:
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Gentle massage
- Lie on your side in bed
- Elevate your feet as much as possible
- Do not cross your legs
- Try not to stand for long periods
- Wear flat, comfortable shoes that will accommodate swelling
- Wear support stockings or tights
- It is significant that you maintain drinking plenty of fluids. Your oral intake does not affect fluid retention.
Whilst swelling is ordinary, you should contact your doctor if the swelling is sudden, if you develop facial swelling or if one leg is significantly more swollen than the other leg.
This could indicate that a more serious condition called pre-eclampsia is developing.
Other signs of pre-eclampsia may be:
- Severe pain below the ribs
- Severe headache
- Blurred vision