During pregnancy, your body undergoes many changes as things inside your body shift to make room for the rapidly growing baby. Before you got pregnant, your veins allowed blood to flow normally throughout your body, unobstructed. Now, with the baby on the way, your heart has much more work to do. The baby is also most likely causing additional pressure on your feet. These things can lead to swelling and blood pooling up in your lower legs and feet. One way you can keep your circulatory system functioning as well as possible is to learn some ways to improve circulation during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, it’s normal to feel sluggish and exhausted—your body is growing an entire human, and that takes effort and energy. You might just want to lie down, but try to get up and moving multiple times a day. Take several walks throughout the day; this movement will not only help you regain some energy but also prompt your blood to flow more normally. Always consult a doctor before exercising while pregnant, especially if you’ve been placed on bed rest or you’re experiencing any complications.
Some foods can stimulate your circulatory system. Try adding some cayenne pepper, garlic, or turmeric to your meals to kick your circulation up a notch. Fruits such as pomegranate, watermelon, and avocados are also great resources for encouraging circulatory health. Eating these daily can help your body pump blood easier and relieve some of the pressure the baby is putting on your circulatory system.
Another effective method of improving blood flow in your body while you’re pregnant is wearing compression socks. During pregnancy, multiple conditions and the pressure the baby puts on your lower body’s major veins can inhibit normal blood flow. Compression socks work to get your blood flow back to normal by squeezing your lower legs, ankles, and feet, which promotes blood flow from your legs back up to your heart. They can also reduce and prevent swelling. If you’re experiencing feet or leg swelling, sit down and elevate your feet above your heart until the swelling subsides enough for you to apply compression socks, which will prevent further swelling.
If you’re concerned about or experiencing issues such as extreme swelling, pain, discomfort, or veins that look or feel odd, contact your doctor, as these may be signs of more serious conditions.