S.L. asks from Niles, MI on November 15, 2009
How to Relieve Increased Swelling in Feet/ankles at 33 Weeks of Pregnancy
I am 33 weeks pregnant and have been experiencing mild swelling in my feet/ankles for quite a while now. It has always been worse in my right foot, but over the last few days has gotten much worse! I do not have any swelling in my face/hands or anywhere else, and my blood pressure is not elevated. It has been a very stressful week, but I have made a conscious effort to drink even more water, and be off of my feet as much as possible, and it seems to be getting worse! I also try to be very aware of and limit my sodium intake too, I really don't know what else I can do. If anyone has any ideas on how I can safely reduce the swelling, I would greatly appreciate it! I will call my OB tomorrow, but they always tell me the same things(which I have been doing). Thank you for your help!
S.B. answers from Detroit on November 15, 2009
Unfortunately, my swelling stayed until a couple weeks after I gave birth. Drinking water, soaking my feet in warm (not hot) Epsom salt water, and keeping them elevated (I stayed in my hubby's lazy boy chair) did help some but it did not take the swelling all the way down. Hang in there and best wishes!
P.M. answers from Detroit on November 16, 2009
In addition to keeping your feet elevated - higher than your heart is optimal - start drinking green tea and eat broccoli. These are natural diuretics that will aid in releasing water.
M.V. answers from Detroit on November 16, 2009
I hope I can be of help....
I have had 2 kids, and during both of them, I stayed in the pool teaching swim lessons and doing water aerobics. I had minimal swelling and when my ankles did swell (as they all will during your last 2 momths), the pool decreased the swelling back to almost normal in 2 hours of being in the pool. Let me explain how this works: when the baby shifts during the last 2 months, s/he presses down on the main veins in your legs. Water, blood and the like can't move, so your legs (ankles) swell. Gravity takes it to the lowest point, so that means your feet. By being in a pool, the weightlessness you feel also affects your baby by lifting up on what s/he is pushing down on. This allows your fluids to move and the swelling to decrease. With both of my boys I never changed a shoe size and the swelling was completely manageable. The last week of both of my pregnancies I couldn't get in the pool (plug) and I don't even want to know how much pain you are in because I couldn't stand that one week that I couldn't get in the water. You don't even have to do anything. Just find a pool and walk around in it -- you need to make yourself and the baby weightless to relieve the swelling. Just soaking your feet DOES NOT help. Please see this (and there are PLENTY more) website for more information. You can always contact me if you need ideas on places to go. I will help you if I can. Good Luck!!
G.K. answers from Detroit on November 16, 2009
Biggest advice...get into a pool! I don't know where you live but if you can get into a community pool, Lifetime, Beverly Hills Club (they have a prenatal water mom's class and you don't have to be a member), etc. you will feel a lot better. The water will help take the pressure of your body and you will be able to move around without feeling so much pain. I loved it with my first son b/c I felt like my body was super light and back to my pre-preggo days. Seriously, give it a try! I know that Troy's community center has a prenatal class to but I'm not sure about the date/time.
L.J. answers from Detroit on November 16, 2009
the only thing that worked for me was to stack pillows under my feet and keep them elevated.
A.H. answers from Detroit on November 16, 2009
Keep the elevated and stay off them as much as you can. Unless you have a massage therapist as a friend, then you can't really do much safely without causing an issue.
Talk to the OBGyn as there could be an underlying issue.
A.W. answers from Grand Rapids on November 16, 2009
Swelling in the feet and ankles is common in pregnant women. Hormonal factors can cause your veins to dilate, which brings more blood to your feet. Once the baby is large enough, it can put pressure on the major veins in your lower abdomen, which slows blood return to your heart. The blood just hangs out in your lower legs (especially if you stand or sit without elevating your feet for any length of time, compliments of gravity) and throws off your fluid balance, which is why you swell. Watching your fluids and sodium can help, but ultimately it's not going to make the swelling go away. Walking is a good thing, elevation can help, but I think birth is going to be your solution :) I'm going to school right now for Vascular ultrasound, so we've actually covered some of this in class. Hope it helps!
K.M. answers from Detroit on November 16, 2009
Try to stay away from salt (which you said you are), eat lots of cucumbers (organic of course) and be sure to call your OB/GYN and you might want to insist on being seen just to be on the safe side. Everyone has given you a lot of good natural ideas. I had to be put in the hospital with my first pregnancy and I lost 20 pounds of water weight over night, I had toxemia (sp?) but everyone seems to have swelling someplace during pregnancy. Stress can really mess up our health so try to relax as much and often as you can. Sounds like you are doing everything right. Hang in there it will be over soon.
J.H. answers from Detroit on November 16, 2009
Hang in there - you're in the home stretch! During my first pregnancy, I had horrible swelling all over. I actually lost 30 pounds in the first week following my daughter's birth because it was all water weight (well, 10 lbs of it was the baby, placenta, etc, but the rest was all water)! As they say, "this too shall pass". Like others have said, just try to stay off your feet as much as possible and keep them elevated above your heart when you can. I work at a desk so this was not possible during the day but I WAS able to put them up under my desk and even that little bit helped slightly.
I would still talk to your doctor about it to make sure there is no underlying issues but this isn't that uncommon... Especially since your blood pressure has been normal,e tc.
Hang in there :)