Many pregnant women have to deal with feet swelling. This symptom may be considered normal for the third trimester of pregnancy and it can be also an indication of some underlying conditions.
Causes of Feet Swelling during Pregnancy
It is estimated that during pregnancy a woman's body produces almost 50% more blood and body fluids. This production is essential for proper growth and development of the fetus. The excess of fluid may be one cause of feet swelling during pregnancy. Furthermore, some body parts such as joints tend to accumulate excess of fluid preparing the body for the growth of the fetus. This particularly affects the pelvic joints although fluid accumulation may also affect other joints such as ankle and result in swelling of the feet.
Apart from the previously mentioned there are several more factors associated with feet swelling during pregnancy. They include standing for a longer period of time, inadequate intake of potassium, intake of foods rich in sodium and consumption of too much caffeine. Furthermore, even weather conditions such as heat during summer months may cause swelling of the feet. Pregnant women who work long hours are more susceptible to feet swelling.
How to Deal with Feet Swelling during Pregnancy?
Although it may be impossible to completely eliminate excess of fluid feet swelling during pregnancy can be at least reduced.
The first thing a woman must know is to rest as much as possible. By avoiding standing for a long period of time the swelling can be significantly reduced. Furthermore, during sleep or while a woman is resting the legs can be elevated with the assistance of a pillow. Even women who sit for a long period of time may develop feet edema. They are also due to have plenty of rest and elevate their legs in order to reduce swelling. Shoes need to be comfortable. This is why wearing high heels is not recommended during pregnancy. This also refers to tight clothes.
During summer a woman must restrict spending time outdoors. The intake of water must be optimal. If a woman chooses some sports or physical activity during pregnancy she may opt for water activities. Prior engaging in any kind of sport she is due to consult her doctor.
And finally, certain corrections in one's diet may help with reduction of feet edema. Namely, a diet must contain optimal amounts of sodium and intake of certain substances such as caffeine is supposed to be restricted.
Severe swelling may point to serious underlying conditions and it requires prompt investigation and appropriate treatment.