Foot Pain and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a magical time full of… 

Okay, let’s be honest. There are several parts of pregnancy that are less than stellar—relaxed ligaments, flat feet, and, of course, how swollen your feet and ankles can become. Painful foot swelling (edema) is an often-ignored side effect of pregnancy. However, it’s important to understand what it is, when it’s not normal, and what you can do about preventing and treating it. 

Why Do Ankles Swell During Pregnancy?

A woman’s body naturally retains more fluid during pregnancy. Combined with gravity, this fluid tends to end up around your feet and ankles. In addition, the enlarged uterus puts pressure on nearby blood vessels, delaying blood return to the heart. 

Are Swollen Ankles Normal During Pregnancy?

Yes. Almost all women will experience ankle swelling to some degree during their pregnancy, usually during the later months. It’s important to keep a close on swelling so that you know if it’s just normal edema or something more serious.

When Are Swollen Ankles During Pregnancy Not Normal?

There are some indications that can mean your pregnancy-induced ankle and foot swelling is not normal. Look for uneven swelling, where one foot or ankle is significantly larger than the other. Seek medical treatment immediately if you experience sudden swelling in your face or hands.

How Do I Prevent/Treat Swollen Ankles While Pregnant?

Minimizing foot and ankle swelling during pregnancy can be achieved with a few simple precautions. To prevent or treat edema in the legs:

  • Avoid standing for long periods of time without rest.
  • Stretch your legs often during sitting.
  • Don’t cross your legs.
  • Elevate your feet often.
  • Drink more water and reduce your salt intake.
  • Wear compression or pregnancy support hose/socks.
  • Walk or swim regularly to increase blood flow to the legs.
  • Don’t wear your shoes if they are too tight; go get a bigger pair.

Concerned About Foot & Ankle Swelling While Pregnant?

If you’re pregnant and are concerned about your foot or ankle swelling, call your providers at the Foot and Ankle Wellness Center. We are here for all moms-to-be to help you prevent foot and ankle swelling and treat any painful symptoms that arise. Call the FAAWC today to schedule your appointment. 

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