Swollen ankles during pregnancy are normal but they can be bothersome for many.
This happens because, during pregnancy, extra fluid in the body and the increasing pressure on the uterus causes swelling in the ankles and feet.
The swelling starts getting worse as the delivery date comes near. It increases even more during the evening and hot weather.
While mild swelling is no cause of concern, swelling in the face and hands can be an indicator of a condition called preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy).
Because these swollen feet can be painful and uncomfortable, here are a few tips that can help you ease the symptoms:
Reduce the intake of sodium
One of the easiest ways to reduce swelling during pregnancy is by limiting your intake of salt. This is because salt makes your body hold the extra water.
Do not add any extra salt to your food and avoid having canned food as it’s loaded with sodium. Try having rosemary, thyme and oregano instead of salt to add flavours.
Eat more potassium
Lack of potassium can make swelling even worse as potassium helps in balancing the number of fluids in your body. A list of foods high in potassium includes potatoes, bananas, spinach, beans, yoghurt, salmon and lentils.
Reduce your caffeine intake
If you are a chai or coffee lover, you need to give it a second thought before you grab another cup. Caffeine is a diuretic, which causes you to pee more, which makes your body think that it needs to hold on to fluids. You can try herbal tea like peppermint, which will also help relieve morning sickness.
Keep yourself hydrated
Though it sounds strange, drinking more water helps in combating swelling. Because when you are dehydrated, your body thinks it needs to hold on to fluid in order to compensate.
Keep your feet elevated and rest
Whenever you find time, keep your feet on an elevated stool or a pillow and rest for a while. Standing all the time can be a little hard for your pregnant body. Keeping your feet elevated can help drain the fluid that has been pooling in your legs.
Get some massage
If your partner is looking for ways to get involved during the pregnancy, this is the perfect time for him to pitch in. Ask him to massage your feet as it helps circulate the fluid, which in turn will help reduce the swelling.
You can add some lavender and peppermint oil for a more relaxing experience.
Sleep on your left side
Sleeping on the left side helps improve blood circulation, which ultimately helps reduce the swelling. It also takes off the pressure from your uterus.