Every pregnant woman remembers the first time her toes turned into sausages, her ankles seemingly disappeared and swelling took over the whole bottom area of her body. It’s also hard to forget the first time you find yourself unable to slip on – or off- your rings. Not fun! While swelling is a common and often unavoidable part of pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester, there are things you can do to mitigate or possibly avoid the swelling from occurring.
For starters, know that swelling during pregnancy is more common in heat. When possible stay out of the sun and always make sure to drink plenty of water. Avoid standing or sitting too long. Compression socks can be helpful as both a treatment option and a preventative one (checkout these from Motif Medical which were created specifically with pregnant women in mind). You’ll also want to make a point of wearing comfortable shoes and loose fitting clothing.
Putting your legs up a wall for 10-15 minutes a day can be helpful as it will help encourage blood flow back to your heart. Dry brushing can also accomplish this (just remember to focus on your arms, legs and feet and avoid your stomach area).
We saved the best for last… foot and hand massage! Swelling during pregnancy is a great excuse to get pampered with a mani/pedi that includes a massage or if you’re lucky enough to have a willing partner, take them up on their offer to massage you!
Note that, as mentioned, swelling is very common during pregnancy, but if you notice a sudden and rapid increase in swelling it can be a sign of a serious condition called preeclampsia. If you have any doubts, always contact your doctor.