While being pregnant and waiting to give birth should be an exciting period of your life, morning sickness, swollen breasts, and aches and pains are unfortunate side effects that many moms-to-be have to endure.
One of the biggest complaints that expectant moms often voice is leg or foot pain. As your baby grows, there will be a natural weight gain. However, this can add immense pressure to your feet and knees and make it difficult to perform day to day tasks. The good news is that there are strategies you can take, which can manage pain and swelling, such as the ones below.
Keep Your Feet Elevated
If you have noticed swelling in your feet, this happens because of blood pooling in your lower extremities. To reduce foot pain and swelling throughout your pregnancy, it’s important that you keep your feet elevated. Doing so will ensure blood can flow to your upper body. Make sure that your legs are raised 6-12 inches above your heart and keep hold of this position for a minimum of 15 minutes which will help your blood flow back to your lungs and heart.
Change Sleeping Positions
Getting a good night’s sleep as a mom-to-be may be easier said than done. If you are prone to sleeping on your back, this will put tons of pressure on your vena cava (the biggest vein leading to your heart), causing your blood to slow down that returns from your lower body. To relieve pressure and reduce leg pain during your pregnancy, it’s recommended to sleep on your side. If you suffer from chronic pain like fibromyalgia, sleeping on your side can also reduce joint and lower back pain.
Wear Compression Socks
The sole purpose of compression socks is to apply pressure to your lower legs, which helps to retain blood flow and alleviate discomfort and swelling. The reason why your feet and legs begin to swell in pregnancy is because of blood that pools in your feet. Copper-infused compression socks are the most recommended as they will reduce swelling and boost blood circulation in your feet. Compression socks can be worn at any time of day and night.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Whether you’re pregnant or not, you should understand the importance of drinking water and staying hydrated. If you become dehydrated, this will make the puffiness of your feet worse. Make sure that you get into the habit of drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. Drinking water will eliminate salt out of your body which can help stop inflammation. If you drink lots of caffeine, high levels of it can cause severe dehydration, which will do more harm than good to your feet.
Monitor Your Weight
It’s completely normal to gain weight throughout your pregnancy. However, if you don’t keep a close eye on your weight, you may put on more pounds than normal, which can cause your feet to swell more and you may experience heel pain. Especially while pregnant it is advised to stick to a well-balanced diet packed with fruits and vegetables. If you’re concerned about your weight, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor. After speaking to a doctor about your foot pain, they will advise you on what treatment you should obtain, such as seeing a podiatrist.
Exercise Your Feet
It’s advised not to stand for long periods during your pregnancy. Doing so will put excessive weight on your feet and increase foot pain. Instead, there are ways you can improve the circulation in your feet without having to leave the sofa, such as by performing rotation exercises. Sitting down and raising one leg, rotating the ankle ten times to the right and another ten times to the left should help in reducing pain and swelling.
If you have any concerns about your lower limbs or feet, it may be wise to see a podiatrist. They are healthcare professionals who have specialist training in diagnosing and treating abnormal conditions. Harford Lower Extremity Specialists are a podiatric care group who is committed to helping their patients receive immediate pain relief and ongoing treatment for the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons of the feet. The team can help you if you’re suffering from chronic pain, sores, injury, or foot problems caused by diabetes.
If you are suffering from swollen ankles, it’s important that you apply ice on the inside of them for fifteen minutes. Make sure that you repeat this every thirty minutes as the cold compression helps in reducing ankle swelling.
While pregnancy will bring a variety of changes in your body, excruciating foot pain can make it hard to get through the day. If you’re struggling to stand on your feet and have errands to perform, all the handy tips above can help you control your pain and swelling as well as alleviate discomfort – hopefully for good!