Your body goes through a lot of changes while you're pregnant. Now that you're in your third trimester of pregnancy, you're going to be trading off a couple of the less comfortable aspects of pregnancy. Morning sickness has probably subsided, but now you're probably noticing that your feet and ankles are swollen. You might even be having problems wearing your usual shoes. This condition is known as edema, and in most instances, it's a normal part of pregnancy. Unfortunately, that doesn't make it any more comfortable. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to alleviate the discomfort. Here are four simple ways to reduce the swelling in your feet and ankles.
Put Your Feet Up
During the final trimester of pregnancy, your uterus is expanding to accommodate your growing baby. As your baby grows, so does the pressure that's being placed on your body. The best way to alleviate some of the pressure is to put your feet up as often as possible. This is particularly important when you feel your feet getting tight. If you're at home, sit down in a comfortable chair and elevate your feet for a few minutes. If you're at work, sit down and place your feet on a nearby chair. Try to elevate your feet for a few minutes, several times a day.
If you spend the majority of your day sitting down, you need to add some movement to your schedule. Try to head out for a short walk at least once a day. If you can't go for a walk, stretch your legs out in front of you and wiggle your toes. It also helps to stand up and walk in place for a few minutes. This will help get your blood circulating, which will reduce the swelling in your feet and ankles.
Avoid Ankle Socks
If you wear ankle socks on a regular basis, you should stop during the final trimester of your pregnancy. This is particularly important if edema has become a problem. Wearing ankle socks—especially those that are tight—can constrict blood flow and cause increased swelling. If you need to wear socks, choose a lightweight style.
Drink Lots of Water
While you're in your last trimester of pregnancy, the baby will be resting on your bladder, which will increase your need to urinate. Don't reduce your water intake to eliminate the need to urinate. You're going to need additional water to reduce the swelling in your feet and ankles.
If your feet and ankles are swelling now that you're nearing the end of your pregnancy, use the tips provided here to alleviate the discomfort. If you notice swelling in your face, or if you notice a significant increase in the amount of swelling you have in your feet and ankles, be sure to contact an obstetrician at a location like Desert Rose OBGYN PC as soon as possible. You may be developing preeclampsia.