Swollen ankles and feet are a common issue during pregnancy. It is a matter of concern because it’s very uncomfortable during this delicate period.
The swelling usually starts from the first trimester. But sometimes, it continues to the 36th week of pregnancy even. In the initial stage, it is not that risky, but it is uncomfortable for sure.
Are Swollen Ankles Normal?
Though it is a common issue during pregnancy, you must be careful with swollen ankles. It can be a severe issue sometimes if the problem persists till the prime moments of delivery. Swollen ankles can even cause preeclampsia. This particular condition can cause high blood pressure, which will be harmful during pregnancy.
You must consult your doctor if you notice sudden swelling on your feet, hands, or face. It also may cause blurred vision, difficulty breathing, or dizziness. To deal with swollen ankles, you must take some precautions from the initial stage of your pregnancy.
Why Does Swelling Happen During Pregnancy?
Before discussing the solutions to deal with swollen ankles, first, you should know why this swelling happens during pregnancy. The common for swollen ankles reasons are:
- During pregnancy, the body produces more blood that may cause swelling.
- The uterus slightly blocks the veins that flow the blood from the legs to the heart with the baby’s growth. This blockage in the blood flow is also a reason.
- During pregnancy, the hormones make the walls of the veins softer. Therefore, the veins can’t function properly, resulting in the swelling.
Tips to Reduce Swollen Ankles
Swollen ankles may cause a feeling of discomfort and heaviness while you stand up or walk. The condition may get worse if you don’t take preventive actions from the very beginning. Here are some simple ways you can reduce swollen ankles during your pregnancy.
Avoid Caffeine Intake
During pregnancy, you must avoid caffeine intake if you want to get rid of swollen ankles. Drinking too much caffeine can make the swelling worse. Also, it is not healthy for your baby too. If you are addicted to coffee, you can try decaf coffee or herbal tea. It will prevent ankle swelling and keep you more energetic.
Lower Sodium Intake
During pregnancy, if you want to deal with swollen ankles, you must reduce your sodium intake. Sodium lets the body hold extra water. Make sure to avoid processed foods as these are enriched with sodium. Also, don’t add extra table salt to your foods.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water offers numerous benefits to our bodies. Consuming more water helps to control ankle swelling. If you consume at least ten glasses of water, it will help the kidneys flush out the toxins. If you feel like vomiting to drink that much water during pregnancy, you can flavor the water with mint or lemon.
Increase Potassium Intake
Less amount of potassium can make the swelling worse. You must enhance the potassium intake as it helps the body to balance the fluids. During pregnancy, the prenatal vitamin must have some extra potassium. Therefore, make sure to have good sources of dietary potassium. Spinach, sweet potatoes, bananas, beets, lentils, salmon, yogurt, beans are some potassium-enriched foods that you can have.
Sleep on the Left Side
During pregnancy, you must sleep on your left side. This sleeping posture will help you to improve blood flow. Thus it helps to reduce swelling of the ankle. Lying on the left side allows the body to take the pressure off your uterus. With this habit, you will get some quick improvement in your body.
Go For a Walk
You must go for at least a 5 to 10 minutes walk. And, make sure to walk a couple of times throughout the day. It will help in blood and oxygen circulation. Thus, you will get some relief from ankle swelling.
Walking is necessary as it is one of the best pregnancy-safe exercises. You also can practice some swimming to get relief from ankle swelling. You will feel a bit lighter if you practice some basic exercises.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Last but not least, make sure to wear comfortable shoes to deal with swollen ankles. However, women prefer to wear heels. But during pregnancy, it will be risky to wear heels. It will be more uncomfortable for swollen ankles also. By wearing comfortable and well-fitting shoes, you can get relief from swollen ankles. Besides, it helps you to prevent back and hip problems.
During pregnancy, a swollen foot is a common issue. But now you have all the possible ways to deal with this issue! Make sure to maintain a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle to take care of yourself and your baby.