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Pregnancy comes with its set of side effects and complications. Some may be not more than a discomfort and others may be dangerous that can potentially be fatal.The swelling of feet and arms is a very common complaint in pregnant women.
Swelling or oedema can be explained as the phenomenon where excess fluid collects up in the tissues of the body. A pregnant woman is at risk of oedema and the complications that result from it.
The heart works double hard during the woman's pregnancy to keep the blood circulating properly through the body. The extra strain on the heart will cause retention of fluid in the extremities of the body.
If we look at the legs, the growing uterus puts a lot of pressure on the inferior vena cava. Inferior vena cava is the vein that takes back the blood from the legs and the lower part of the body to the heart to be oxygenated.When the circulation of blood is improper, it leads to the retention of fluid in the legs and feet. This is known as swollen legs or oedema of the legs.
Oedema or the swelling of the feet is seen more towards the end of the day. It is noted that the oedema is more during the summer months. If the woman is carrying twins or multiples, the swelling can correspondingly be more.
The swelling quickly goes away, as the body tries to remove the excess water through urination after the birth of the baby. Another way in which the body expels the retained water is through sweating. If you are a pregnant woman who has the swelling of the feet issue, then you will note that you will sweat and urinate a lot during the days that follow child birth.
Should Oedema Raise Any Alarms?
While a small to moderate amount of oedema is quite normal during pregnancy; but under certain circumstances, oedema can also mean danger. Excessive oedema often signals a pregnancy complication known as pre-eclampsia.
The signs that you should look out for are swollen face, puffy eyes and excessive swelling of your hands, feet and ankles.
If you have excessive oedema in one of your feet and also have pain in the swollen leg, visit your doctor immediately. This can be a sign of a blood clot.
What are the general things that you can do to prevent swelling?
- Place your feet higher up. Use a stool to prop your leg up while being seated at a desk at work or at home.
- Never sit cross legged or cross your legs at your ankles.
- Stretching is important. You should stretch your calves, toe and ankles every few minutes.
- Do not be constantly standing or seated. Short walks will keep your blood circulation proper.
- Avoid the use of tight stockings or socks.
- Always wear comfortable shoes.
- Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
- Make sure that your diet is clean and healthy. Stay away from junk food.
Home Remedies To Treat Swelling Of Feet During Pregnancy
There are some simple home remedies that you can try right at the comfort of your home. We have made a compilation of all these home remedies. Remember to always approach a doctor if required.
1. Stay Well Hydrated
It is very important to remain well hydrated during pregnancy. Drinking more water helps remove the toxins from the body. It also helps in removing water retention by facilitating the excretion of excess fluid in the body.
2. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds have been used by our ancestors to treat swollen feet. These seeds must be soaked overnight. These can be boiled with the water the next day and then sipped through the day.
3. Dandelion Tea
Dandelion tea is very beneficial in returning your body into its pre-pregnancy glory. Boil some dandelion with water and drink it thrice daily. It balances the electrolytes in the body and helps in improving circulation.
4. Cabbage Leaves
It is said that cabbage leaves assist the excretion of the excess fluid. Cover your feet with some cabbage leaves. These will help in solving the problem of oedema.
5. Cucumber (Placing Cool Cucumber Slices On Your Feet)
Cucumber is a cool vegetable that contains a lot of water. A few slices every day will keep you hydrated. Another way is to cover your feet with slices of cucumber. The cucumber slices will draw out any toxins and excess water.
Apples are great fruits, as they contain lots of beneficial nutrients. It also helps in the proper functioning of the kidney. This will help in the efficient removal of fluids from the body. Consume a couple of apples every day to ease the swelling in your feet during pregnancy.
Watermelon contains a lot of water in it. Eating it will help the body be properly hydrated. It will help in the successful removal of the fluids in the body.
Oranges are citrus fruits that also contain a lot of water. These help in the removal of fluids and also help balance the electrolytes in the body.
9. Dip Your Feet In Salty Lukewarm Water
This is a very commonly used home remedy. Boil water and mix in some salt water. Salt should be added until the water tastes like sea water. Let it cool down until it is comfortably warm. Now, place the feet in a tub of the prepared warm salt water. Let it be there till the water goes cold. This home remedy for swollen feet during pregnancy works by pulling out excess fluids in the tissues.
10. Elevate Your Feet
Keep your feet elevated through the day. This will help in maintaining a proper blood circulation. It also prevents the pooling of fluids in the foot.
11. Oil Massage
Use anti-inflammatory oils like eucalyptus oil, lemon oil, peppermint oil and lavender oil to massage the swollen limbs. It helps in moving the excess fluid out of the tissues. It also assists the blood circulation to run smoothly.
12. Get Into Doing Light Yoga Asanas
Intensive exercises might not be possible to do during pregnancy. Practice yoga and choose simple positions. It will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. The yoga will also keep the blood circulation moving. It will prevent the pooling of fluids in the extremities too.
13. Cut Down On Caffeine
Use of caffeine is not good during the pregnancy period. It will also further increase the retention of fluids in your body. Cutting down on your caffeine intake will also control the swelling in your legs during the pregnancy period.
14. Lie Down On Your Left Side
Always sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side will elevate the pressure from the inferior vena cava vein and help in a proper blood circulation to be maintained while you sleep.
15. Eat Foods High In Potassium Content
Foods that are high in potassium content help in removing sodium from the body. Sodium is the substance that causes water retention. Consume foods that are rich in potassium like bananas and potatoes to prevent oedema of the feet during pregnancy.