As the little one in there keeps growing, swollen ankles and feet are one of the many inconveniences you may suffer. This is the case, especially if you have to wear uncomfortable shoes, stand for extended periods or stay in a climate that is warm.
The good news is that having swollen feet when you’re pregnant isn’t entirely abnormal. Plus, there are lots of natural remedies for swollen feet and ankles. These remedies can easily be prepared at home and are sure to help reduce the swelling and make you a lot more comfortable.
Caution : Take note that you should see a doctor if you notice the swelling coming quickly and not getting relieved by simple remedies. Other things to watch out for includes headaches and blurry vision. These may be warning signs of preeclampsia or high blood pressure
How Does Edema Happen?
Edema can affect around half of pregnant women, especially in the later stages. As the belly increases, fluids in the body build up and cause the feet, ankles and leg to swell. The growing foetus exerts pressure on the veins and the return of blood from ankles and feet to the heart slows down.
This leads to a pooling up of fluids in the ankle area. There may also be swelling on your face, neck, lower back and even fingers. Water retention also adds to the problem.
You will often be advised to rest properly. However, lots of remedies exist that will save you from the agony that comes with the swelling so you can once again have fun living.
Home Remedies for Swollen Ankles and Feet
Walks go a long way to helping your swollen feet when you’re pregnant. It will help relieve the fluid retention, and here’s how :
When you walk, the muscles of the leg continuously contract and pump. This aids squeeze out the extra fluids from your tissues.
Your heart rate also increases, pumping more blood to your legs and helping flush out the fluid.
Plus, walking regularly ensures that you are strong and boosts your endurance which is important for when it’s time for delivery.
This is safe and has no side effects, you’re not exerting undue pressure on your body. Start with a slow walk and then increase your pace gradually while also increasing your duration.
Massage Your Feet
Massaging your feet can be great for your swollen feet and will help promote relaxation.
Using gentle strokes will create pressure on the affected areas. This, in turn activates the lymphatic system and causes the fluid to drain away.
A good massage will also refresh your mood and relax, this is a bonus for you.
To massage your swollen feet, simply massage upward, towards your heart using some pressure and firm strokes.
We understand that it could be quite a task massaging your feet yourself, you could ask your partner or anyone else to help you.
Dip in salty lukewarm water
Did you know that soaking your swollen ankles, feet and calves for at least fifteen minutes in lukewarm saline solution will help ease your edema.
For one, warm water helps boost the circulation of blood in your feet. With salt, inflammation is eased. Alongside each other, they help relax the muscles of your legs
You should do this just before retiring for the day and you should see noticeable results on awakening.
Dehydration can often lead to edema. This is because the body naturally will try to retain more water when there is low availability of water for the body. It does this in an attempt to evade dehydration conditions.
This storage is what leads to the swelling that may occur in several parts of the body. However, when you drink a reasonable amount of water throughout the day, the body knows to stop retaining water.
To maximize the benefit of drinking water, you can add a dash of lime or lemon as it will help alleviate swelling rapidly.
Gently massaging a swollen area with an oil derived from a herb will help ease edema during pregnancy. Using oils that posses anti-inflammatory properties like eucalyptus oil, lemon and lavender will help relieve the swelling and pain in the calves, ankles and feet.
Peppermint oil brings about a calming effect which is useful if you have a burning sensation in your feet.
Plus, a good oil massage will help you relax and refresh your mood which is essential for pregnant women.
Be Mindful of Clothing
Simple changes could be made in your clothing. Always wear shoes that are comfortable and tights and stockings are supportive. Avoid clothings that are tight around the ankles. Tight shoes will also make your situation worse. So it’s important to change your shoes to more comfortable wears when you’re pregnant.
Don’t be Still for Too Long
Staying in a position for a long time will often lead to edema. It’s therefore important to constantly change positions or at least move your feet once in a while.
If your job requires sitting at a desk for a long time, the condition of your feet may get worse. To help this, we suggest you take a quick stroll around the office once in three hours. It will help improve blood circulation and reduce the chances that your feet will get swollen.
Drink Less Coffee
Caffeine isn’t healthy when you’re pregnant. It’s even worse if you notice that your feet is swollen as it could lead to dehydration
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar possesses a high level of potassium. Simply mix a spoon of apple cider vinegar with two glasses of water, it will help balance the electrolytes.
You could even wrap your feet with a towel that has been soaked in equal parts of warm water and apple cider vinegar. This will help reduce the swelling.
This makes for healthy circulation. Swimming helps go against the pull of gravity which could cause a settling of the fluids. It’s also a safe form of exercise when you’re pregnant.
Soak Your Feet
Use warm salt water to soak your feet. Using Epsom salt has always resulted in relaxing your feet. During pregnancy, it helps all the more. You can even use jojoba oil to massage your feet after soaking.