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Women's Health Blog

7 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Swollen Ankles

 

You’re pregnant and adjusting to the beautiful changes your body is experiencing during this exciting season. But not all of the changes are as welcome as others—such as new developments like swollen ankles. How do you fight the uncomfortable irritation? We have a list of helpful ways to alleviate the swelling in your feet and ankles during pregnancy. Let’s take a look!

But first—why the swelling? During pregnancy, your body retains more fluid, and your growing uterus puts more pressure on your veins which can cause swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet. This type of swelling is often referred to as edema; it effects nearly three-quarters of pregnant women, typically appears between weeks 22 and 27 of pregnancy, and can continue until delivery.

 

7 Helpful Ways to Reduce Swollen Feet and Ankles

  1. Walk it Out. Walking during pregnancy is not only great for your overall health, but it keeps your blood flowing and decreases the severity of swelling in the body. Set aside 15-30 minutes a day and take part in a low-intensity stroll throughout your neighborhood to get started.

  2. Drink Lots of Water. Make sure you consume the recommended 8-12 glasses of water a day to help rid your system of excess sodium and other waste that can attribute to swelling. Keeping a water bottle with you at all times, helps make it easier to drink more!
     
  3. Sleep on Your Side. If it’s possible, sleep on your left side to help take pressure off the vein that moves blood from the bottom of your body and returns it to your heart. This can help reduce swelling.
     
  4. Enjoy Some Pool Time. Try to stand or walk in the pool. Water pressure helps compress tissue in your legs and can help relieve swelling in your feet and ankles.
     
  5. Limit Your Salt. Be conscious about the amount of salt you’re consuming. Don’t remove it entirely, but exercise moderation to avoid unnecessary swelling.
     
  6. Wear Compression Socks. Supportive socks, tights, or stockings can be a helpful solution when it comes to alleviating swelling. Talk to your OB/GYN to find out if this may work for you.
     
  7. Elevate Your Feet. Whenever you get the chance to lift up your feet while sitting, do it. The elevation helps decrease the amount of swelling in your ankles and feet.

Although swollen feet and ankles are no fun, the wonderful news is this is not a condition you are stuck with. After delivery, your body will begin to go back to its former self. This includes the removal of excess fluid causing your feet and ankles to swell. In the meantime, apply these easy tips to give yourself some relief until your little bundle of joy arrives.

Are you worried about the amount of swelling in your feet and ankles? Have questions about the changes your body is experiencing? We're here to help! Contact Carrie Snyder, the Beebe Women's Health Nurse Navigator, at (844) 316-3330, or email womenshealth@beebehealthcare.org for more information.