Swollen feet are also known as Edema, is quite common during pregnancy. It can occur at any stage of pregnancy, but mostly it appears in the later stage or during the third trimester of pregnancy.
It happens because your body is holding on to more fluid than usual to meet the needs of the developing baby. As the baby grows, it exerts extra pressure on the veins, and the return of blood to the heart from the ankles and feet slows down. It usually affects the legs and feet but can also occur in other parts of the body, such as the face, fingers, neck or abdomen.
Generally, edema has no harm to the expectant mothers but for some women, it can be a characteristic sign of developing serious condition, known as high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia. Therefore it’s important to pay attention when it occurs.
Fortunately, besides taking adequate rest there are plenty of other effective home remedies for swollen feet, ankles, and hands at home so that you can again bounce back on your feet and enjoy the world. If there is excessive swelling then it’s important to consult your doctor.
Here are the top home remedies for swollen feet during pregnancy.
1. Eat foods high in potassium
Potassium is an important mineral that helps maintain the salt-to-water ratio and remove sodium in your body. So eating an adequate amount of potassium-rich food not only helps get rid of edema of the feet during pregnancy but also help keep your blood pressure under control. Foods high in potassium include papaya, bananas, carob, kiwi, avocado, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, cabbage, fish, rhubarb, artichoke, prune juice, dill, arugula, etc.
2. Decrease your caffeine intake.
Caffeine is not a healthy option when you are pregnant. Coffee is diuretic and it increases urination, leading to dehydration and fluid retention. It is good to replace your caffeine with a cup of peppermint tea or chamomile, which both contain many beneficial trace minerals including potassium.
3. Elevate your feet, preferably above your heart
Keeping your feet elevated help to maintain proper blood circulation, facilitates the elimination of waste products and prevents the pooling of fluids in the feet. It also provides relief from pain and discomfort.
- Elevate your feet for 20 minutes, 3-4 times per day.
- Use cushions to prop your feet up slightly above the level of your heart to ensure the blood and fluid returns to your heart, relieving the swelling in the lower extremities.
4. Lie on your left side.
Whether sleeping or resting, lying on your left side can help increase circulation in your body, which will help reduce swelling in your feet.
5. Take Epsom salt foot baths.
Epsom salt always resulted in relaxing the feet as it draws out toxins and induces relaxation.
- Take a basin full of warm water and add ½ cup Epsom salt. Mix it well.
- Soak your feet in this basin until the water goes cold.
- Feel free to add a couple of drops of lavender, rose, rosemary, or wintergreen essential oil.
6. Exercise for 30 minutes a day.
Try some pregnancy appropriate exercise (such as walking), keeps your blood and fluids circulating throughout your body so they have less of a tendency to settle in your feet. Also, regular exercises have lots of endurance when it is time for delivery.
7. Foot massage with arnica oil
Arnica oil massage can be great for swollen feet. It can help relieve sore, aching muscles and helps to relax and refresh your mood. A gentle foot massage to let the arnica soak in is all you need.
8. Stay Hydrated
One of the reasons to swelling in your feet during pregnancy is caused by an imbalance of sodium and water. Drink plenty of water a day will actually help. It will help get rid of excess fluids and even help your kidneys function properly.
9. Increase Your Magnesium Intake
Swelling or water retention in the body can be due to a magnesium deficiency. So eating foods high in magnesium can help in this scenario. Food that is rich in magnesium includes almonds, tofu, cashews, spinach, brown rice, potatoes, soybeans, dark chocolate, broccoli, and avocados. It can also help lower high blood pressure.
Note: It is recommendable to consult your doctor before taking any kind of supplements because they are not suitable for everyone having kidney and heart problems.
10. Wear comfort shoes
Wearing tight shoes can also cause swelling in feet. Always wear shoes that are comfortable for you. Completely avoid heals and the ones that are too tight around the ankles. Sometimes tight shoes can also make the situation worse. So it is important to change your shoe during pregnancy time and also give as much rest as you can to your swollen feet and don’t over strain your feet.