Many women will notice that their feet and even their legs will begin to swell during pregnancy. There are a few reasons that this occurs, including the increased blood and fluids maintained by the body to ensure there is enough for both mother and baby. In addition, the circulation may slow the return of the blood to the rest of the body after being on their feet all day.
Why Feet Swell
The most common cause of feet swelling during pregnancy is that the body begins to make more blood and retain more fluids. It does this in preparation for the baby and for labor and delivery. Having more of these resources makes the delivery safer for both mother and baby.
Additionally, the uterus begins to weigh more and will sit differently within the body. When this happens, it may affect the blood flow as it returns from the feet and legs back to the heart, to be circulated again. This creates a situation where there is more blood in the legs than normal, resulting in swelling.
The body also begins to prepare nutrients while doing more work than normal. As a result, it may begin to retain additional water, which creates swelling and puffiness throughout the body. In addition, salt, caffeine, and high sodium foods will make the swelling worse, making a balanced diet and increased water intake to be key ways to deal with the swelling.
Other causes include a lack of water intake. Most people are not drinking enough water already. It is necessary to drink even more water during pregnancy, missing nutrients from the diet, or other imbalanced and hot weather.
Many treatments are easy to begin at home while waiting to see a podiatrist in Brisbane afterward. First, reduce the intake of sodium and cut out high sodium foods. Avoiding adding salt to meals and cooking will also reduce the intake and allow the body to flush out the sodium that is present. Adding certain nutrients to your diet can also help to bring the body back into balance, such as potassium (found in potatoes and sweet potatoes, which have their skin on, bananas, spinach, beans, yogurt, and lentils). It is also recommended to reduce caffeine, while past recommendations were to cut it out completely, as caffeine will cause your body to retain more water and increase swelling when consumed often.
Drink More Water
Drinking more water is a necessary way to show your body that it does not need to retain the water it does get, and it will help to flush out sodium and flush out things that your body doesn’t need. In addition, it supports kidney health and will reduce swelling. Fruits and flavoring can be added to water to make it more attractive to drink and encourage you to consume more.
Elevate Your Feet
Keeping feet elevated will help move the blood and fluids back up the body and stop them from pooling in the feet, which will reduce swelling, as will comfortable shoes and compression socks when needed.