Swelling in your ankles and feet during pregnancy
If you have noticed mild swelling in your ankles and feet during pregnancy, try not to worry. A certain amount of swelling is normal during pregnancy.
What causes swelling during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, your body retains more water and excess fluid can collect in your tissue. Also, your growing uterus is putting pressure on your veins, slowing blood flow, and forcing fluid from your veins into the tissue of your feet and ankles.
What can I do to reduce swelling during pregnancy?
First, try to sleep on your side; the left side works best, but either side is just fine. Put your feet up whenever possible, and try not to cross your legs. Drink water – surprisingly, this helps your body retain less water. Exercise regularly, and try to take regular breaks from sitting or standing. Short walks every so often will help keep blood from pooling in your feet and ankles. Try wearing maternity support stockings. Put them on before you get out of bed so fluid doesn't have a chance to pool in your ankles.
When should I contact my healthcare provider?
If you have more than slight swelling in your hands, puffiness or swelling in your face or around your eyes, excessive or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles. These could all be symptoms of preeclampsia, a serious condition. Call your provider immediately if you notice that one leg is significantly more swollen than the other – these could be symptoms of a blood clot. But try not to let swollen feet and ankles get you down. A little bit of mild swelling is normal during pregnancy and will go away shortly after you give birth.