Inside: Do you have swollen feet during pregnancy? Learn how to combat that common problem with these five amazing remedies for swollen feet during pregnancy!
Erin, writer at Blunders In Babyland, shares her favorite tips for reducing swollen feet during pregnancy
As beautiful and momentous as pregnancy can be, the third trimester can be a bit of a doozy. Not only do you have to deal with an aching back and tiny fists punching your bladder, but your feet swell into oversized paddles.
Many women deal with swollen feet during pregnancy.
When I was pregnant, this was, hands-down, the hardest part of the third trimester. My swollen feet made it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, walk for more than ten minutes, and even stand long enough to cook dinner.
If you’re struggling with swelling too, I feel for you. And, as a mom that’s been there, done that, I can tell you that there are a few remedies that can give you relief quickly!
Why Your Feet Are Swollen
Okay, before we dive into my favorite remedies for swollen feet during pregnancy, you really should know why you’re experiencing this “little” issue.
What you’re experiencing is also called edema. It’s a very common problem during the third trimester especially, but you can begin experiencing it as early as the second trimester.
Basically, as your uterus expands, it adds pressure to the major vein carrying blood to your heart, the vena cava. Without proper circulation, all of this blood will pool around your feet and ankles.
Edema is also caused by a build-up of fluids. As your body collects water for your baby’s needs, it tends to hoard it everywhere else too.
When to Worry About Swelling
In general, you don’t have to worry about the occasional (or not-so-occasional) case of swollen feet. However, you should worry is when it’s accompanied by other symptoms, like dizziness, double-vision, headaches, or swollen, itchy hands. These are all symptoms of preeclampsia, a much more serious condition.
Preeclampsia is relatively rare, but keep these symptoms in mind so you can discuss with your doctor if needed.
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5 Life-Saving Remedies for Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
1 ) Take an Epsom Salt Bath
I learned this trick from the instructor of one of my favorite online birthing classes and it was an absolute life-saver. Epsom salt, also known as magnesium flakes, can reduce stress, muscle pain, and swollen feet during pregnancy.
Magnesium sulfate is actually used to treat preeclampsia, so it totally makes sense that Epsom salt baths would be a great way to reduce swelling.
You can fully immerse yourself in the bath (just make sure that it’s not too hot) or you can simply let your feet soak for 10-20 minutes.
I did this before bed almost every night and noticed a huge improvement.
2 ) Limit Sodium, Increase Potassium
Too much salt can increase fluid retention, exasperating your swollen feet. In general, you’ll want to lower your sodium intake.
So avoid potato chips, cheeseburgers, french fries, and anything else that contains a large amount of low-quality salts.
Instead, you’ll want to focus on eating potassium-rich foods such as bananas, lentils, sweet potatoes, and yogurt.
Having said that, you should not nix salt altogether. Salt is an essential nutrient needed to maintain your blood pressure levels. The point is to avoid low-quality foods that give you equally low-quality salts and only use enough salt to add flavor.
3 ) Drink Lots of Water
When you’re dehydrated, your body has the tendency to hoard water. Drinking more water will gradually take your body out of survival mode and increase circulation.
Most doctors recommend drinking around 80 ounces of water a day. And I do mean just water, (not juice, milk, or soda).
For me, this was a tall-order. You don’t realize how much you hate water until you have to drink 80 oz of it a day! My trick was to infuse my water with strawberries, oranges, or cucumbers.
You can also purchase sugar-free flavor packets as well, like MiO. Just make sure you double-check with your OB first.
4 ) Use Compression Stockings
When you’re suffering from swollen feet during pregnancy, you really need to avoid any constrictive clothing that forces your blood to pool around your feet or ankles. That means tight boots, ankle socks, leg-warmers, etc.
Ideally, you’ll want to put these stockings on before the blood moves down to your ankles and feet.
Related: How To Survive A Summer Pregnancy
5 ) Position Your Body Correctly
Your goal is to help your body out and increase circulation through your legs however you can.
Exercise, massages, and rubbing a brush over your skin are excellent remedies, but how you actually stand, sit, and sleep is incredibly important for reducing swollen feet during pregnancy.
You may have already heard that you need to limit reclining excessively in the third trimester to avoid breech or posterior fetal positions. Having said that, when you’re suffering from edema, it’s okay to fudge on this a little.
Try elevating your feet above your heart for about 20 minutes a day, 2-3 times a day. This was one of the most effective remedies I tried and it often reduced my swelling within about 10 minutes.
Just make sure you continue to do your daily pregnancy exercises and practice good posture when you’re not elevating your feet.
Sleeping on your left side can also dramatically reduce your swelling.
When you sleep on your left side, you’re alleviating some of the pressure from your vena cava. This increases your blood flow, improves your digestion, and may even encourage your baby into a more optimal birthing position.
If you’re a right side sleeper like me, I loved using a pregnancy pillow to help me stay on track.
Not only can a pregnancy pillow help you alleviate swelling, but it can reduce back pain as well.
If you’re struggling with getting much needed rest, these pregnancy sleep tips will help!
Reducing Swelling During Pregnancy Conclusion
When you’re suffering from swollen feet during the third trimester, life can get real tough, real quick. If you take away just one thing from this article, remember this: increase circulation, reduce fluid retention.
While there are tons of remedies for swollen feet during pregnancy on the internet, the best ones focus on these two simple concepts.
These tips absolutely saved me during my third trimester, and I hope they provide some much-needed relief for you as well.
Good luck, Mama!
Erin loves helping new and expecting moms have the best motherhood experience they possibly can. At her blog, Blunders in Babyland, you’ll find the easy, practical tips you need to rock your new mom life and raise your baby confidently. Visit today to download free Baby Budgeting Worksheets or follow her on Instagram for quick baby and mommy tips.