Women who have been pregnant before know that their body does a lot of things to make them feel self-conscious. Swollen feet is one of those things, If you notice your feet and ankles becoming puffy and massively inflated, don’t feel embarrassed and understand that its just part of the course that your body is doing to cope with the physical strains of pregnancy.
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Although swelling of the feet is normal, there are a few things we can do to lessen it as well as reduce any pain that may be associated with it. Especially in the UAE where the hot weather may compound it, there are a couple of lifestyle changes we can make to reduce the swelling and cope with the effects better.
Why Do Feet Swell Up During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, your body produces a lot of extra fluid, and the growing uterus will add more pressure to your lower body. The extra fluid will go all the way down to your feet and become trapped in the tissues. Inflammation and swelling then occur, and you’ll notice the size of your feet and ankles beginning to inflate.
The swelling gets worse during warm weather and if you are constantly on your feet. It will also worsen as time draws closer to your delivery date. You won’t feel too much pain, but you may notice your feet feeling hot to touch as well as being very sensitive.
What You Can Do to Reduce Swelling?
Don’t stand for long periods – Bys standing up for long periods; all the fluid and blood will rush down and stay in your feet. Standing will also add pressure to your knees and mainly your ankles and feet. You’ll notice swelling can become worse and may even notice slight pain. Take rests when you can and for as long as you can.
Stretch often – First thing in the morning, after going for walks and just before bed, be sure to stretch out all your joints and muscles, so you aren’t applying to much pressure onto any joints. This will also help with blood circulation and can reduce the swelling.
Avoid warm weather – Being in the UAE, this is very hard. As you are pregnant anyway, you should spend more time at home and rest. Excess exposure to heat can increase the severity of the swelling and make you uncomfortable. Stay in cool indoor areas where you can rest your feet. You can also add ice packs or a cold towel to your ankle and feet. Not only will it help to reduce the swelling, but it can also minimize any discomfort or pain as well as help you to relax better.
Use compression stockings – Maternity support sticking that you wear on your waist and your legs can help to push blood from the lower body back into your upper body and heart. This can help to relieve pressure off your feet and ankles and help you to feel balanced.
Hydrate often – Although the issue with the swelling is because of too much fluid, drinking a lot of water to reduce the swelling is essential. Mainly because in order to reduce the swelling, the body needs to stay hydrated. If it is dehydrated, it will retain the swelling and even make it worse. Not only is drinking plenty of water a good standard practice for pregnant women, but it will also help the body to combat the inflammation caused by the swelling.
Exercise regularly – Regular exercise is important during pregnancy. Although having been pregnant has a lot of its physical limitations, staying physically active is important for mothers to sustain good health. Walking around and just moving can help to reduce swelling by increasing blood circulation and not letting cramps occur in the lower body worsen the swelling. Swimming is also a great way to exercise for pregnant women as you can become physically active without putting too much pressure on any specific part of your body. It can also help to cool down the swelling in your ankles and feet.
When to See a Doctor?
Sensitive feet and looking like bigfoot is usually as bad as it gets. There is no cause for concern, nor is it a serious threat to your health. However, if you are struggling to cope with it and notice that it’s hard for you to walk or feel severe pain, speak with your doctor immediately.
If you notice any of the above lifestyle changes also don’t seem to help the situation, speaking with your doctor is always a good option.
Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.
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