How To Avoid Getting Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
When you are pregnant, your body undergoes a lot of changes. One unpleasant change that you may notice is that your feet and ankles begin to swell. The severity of the swelling can range from mild to quite extreme, depending on the time of the day and what the weather is like outside. Swelling is generally worse later in the day and during periods of hot weather.
Foot Swelling As It Relates To The Pregnancy Timeline
Most women who are pregnant start to notice their feet swelling when they are anywhere from about 22 weeks to 27 weeks along in their pregnancy. This swelling tends to continue all the way through until the end of the pregnancy according to Orthotic Shop.
Understanding Why Pregnancy Causes The Feet And Ankles To Swell
Edema, which is the medical term for this type of swelling, occurs when your body retains extra fluid in its tissues. Pregnancy causes an increase in blood flow through your body. The changes in your uterus also can wind up putting pressure on the veins in your pelvic region as well as on the large vein known as the vena cava. This vein helps blood circulate from your lower body back up to your heart. The combination of increased blood flow and pressure on the veins often results in swelling in the lower body. You may also notice swelling in your hands, making your rings too tight or uncomfortable.
When Should You Be Concerned About Foot Swelling?
Swelling that is relatively mild usually is not a cause for concern. Instead, it is a common symptom of pregnancy. Some women don't experience any swelling at all. There are situations, however, where you should be concerned about swelling in your limbs or face. If you notice your face, hands, or other parts of your body becoming exceptionally puffy or if the swelling doesn't seem to go away when you sleep, you should get a hold of your doctor. Conditions like preeclampsia can cause swelling in the body. Usually, these conditions also have additional symptoms, ranging from causing you to gain weight to increasing your blood pressure. If you have been seeing your doctor regularly and your blood pressure and urine check out okay, you probably are not experiencing preeclampsia. If you experience excessive swelling that doesn't go away, however, it is still worth contacting your doctor to get checked.
Steps You Can Take To Minimize Pregnancy-Related Foot Swelling
Your Shoes May Not Only Be Getting Tighter Because Of Swelling
While swelling during pregnancy is definitely one cause of your shoes getting tighter, there may be another cause, as well. During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone known as relaxin. This hormone helps loosen up the ligaments in your body. As a result, the bones are able to spread further apart. This can cause the bones of your feet to spread apart from one another, making your feet bigger. Although your feet will usually return to their normal size after pregnancy, there are some cases where they don't. You may find that your shoe size goes up as much is one size as a result of being pregnant, meaning that you may have to buy new shoes to keep your feet comfortable after you have your child.
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