Pregnancy Doesn't Just Affect the Size of Your Belly
Have you begun to notice that your belly isn’t the only thing getting bigger and bigger as your pregnancy progresses? Have you noticed swelling in your feet? As if you didn’t have anything else to worry about right? Remember your feet are susceptible to swelling during pregnancy. Why you ask? Well it has to do with volume. During pregnancy there is an increase in blood volume. And for a variety of reasons this fluid can escape out of the blood vessels into the surrounding tissues. Gravity then pulls this fluid down to the feet which results in swelling. Swelling can be found throughout a pregnancy, but is especially prevalent during the third trimester.
So, how do you reduce the swelling? As mentioned before gravity is your enemy and it plays a major role in swelling by pulling the fluid to the feet. To stop this gravitational movement it is important to elevate your feet at least three to four times a day. You can do this by simply propping your feet up on a pillow when laying on the sofa or propping your foot up on a chair when sitting down. Also, don’t be a couch potato. Exercise is important. Get up and go for a walk or participate in maternity fitness classes. This will facilitate fluid movement and reduce edema. You can also wear full length support hose and even go get a foot massage and wear loose fitting shoe gear which all will help reduce swelling.
I know your asking yourself is this fluid ever going to go away. The answer is yes. Once the baby is born, the fluid will find its way back to the veins and will be circulated out of the body. And over the next few weeks after delivery you will notice a gradual reduction in swelling and you will be back to normal after all the excessive fluid is excreted by the body. However, if you still have questions concerning your feet, or you feel like you have excessive swelling, or experiencing pain, any pain with your feet don’t hesitate to make an appointment today with your doctors here at Atlantic Foot and Ankle Specialists.
Melissa Robitaille, D.P.M.
Medicine, Surgery and Injuries of the Foot, Ankle and Leg for Adults and Children