Keep Them Up, Mama
Even if you’re not standing on your feet all day, pregnancy can make your lower extremities very sore and by the end of your pregnancy you can swell like crazy. Here are some tips to help soothe your aching feet.
Water is the best thing for your body as it grows your baby. It not only helps keep you feeling great, but it can reduce swelling -- even when you are unfortunate enough to discover you’ve grown “cankles” instead of your formerly bony ankles.
Elevate your feet
When you can, elevate your feet and legs. All of the standing (and even sitting) that we do keeps a lot of pressure below and can cause fluid retention in the lowest body part -- which is generally your feet.
Wear big enough shoes
During pregnancy, your bones spread out and you can even go up a half shoe size. Make sure that your shoes are wide enough -- and if not, use it as an excuse to go shoe shopping. This size change is usually permanent but generally only happens with the first pregnancy. You might also choose shoes that can be easily adjusted to accommodate any swelling throughout the day, such as sandals or shoes with velcro closures.
Make sure that you don’t cross your legs or your feet while sitting. Both can cause swelling and as your belly gets bigger, can lead to other issues as well. Lift up and rotate each foot occasionally, and get up and walk every now and then to keep your blood flowing.
If your swelling is extremely uncomfortable or seems to be increasing steadily no matter what you do, a call to your doctor or midwife may be in order. Some swelling is normal and can be expected, but it can also be sign of certain medical conditions -- so don’t hesitate to bring it up with your caregiver.