Taking care of yourself during your pregnancy is a vital factor for having a healthy baby. September is Baby Safety Awareness Month, which was designed to remind parents to pay attention to toys and tools around their homes and consider how they might affect infants. However, you could argue that baby safety—and parent safety, for that matter—begins before birth. Moms need to take care of themselves. This includes dealing with those uncomfortable swollen ankles. Fortunately, you can relieve pregnancy edema with simple remedies at home!
Those swollen ankles come from excess fluid collecting in your tissues. Having extra fluid in your body is normal during pregnancy—it helps prepare your joints and ligaments for labor. However, gravity can pull a lot of it down to your lower limbs where it settles uncomfortably. This is most noticeable in the final trimester. Some simple home remedies can help decrease the edema and relieve your discomfort.
- Stay off Your Feet: Try not to stand for long periods of time. Take breaks to rest your feet, and elevate your lower limbs on a chair or stool when you can.
- Wear the Right Shoes: Use soft footwear that doesn’t squeeze the feet. Make sure you have plenty of cushioning in the soles and arch support if you need it.
- Use Compression Socks: Sometimes socks that provide light compression to your feet and lower legs can help prevent fluid from collecting in the ankle tissues.
- Exercise: Staying active helps your muscles work out the edema. Try low-impact activities like water aerobics to avoid excess pressure on the lower limbs.
- Stay Hydrated: Although it may seem counterintuitive, make sure you drink enough water. This actually helps reduce water retention in your tissues.
Most of the time, swollen ankles are harmless, and some easy home care can relieve pregnancy edema. However, if your swelling is sudden and accompanies a severe headache, vision trouble, or vomiting, you may have a serious pregnancy side effect and not regular edema. Have that examined right away. Let Dr. Victoria Melhuish know if you’re struggling at all with foot discomfort while you’re expecting. Call (775) 783-8037 or send us an online request to see how we can help you.