Pregnancy can be a wonderful time for some and a painful time for others. Our bodies are put under a lot of strain when pregnant so it is common for our feet and legs to bare the weight and pain of it all. Here are some of my top tips for relieving and preventing pain while carrying baby.
Elevate your feet
Elevate your feet 6 to 12 inches above your heart for 15 to 20 minutes to help the blood flow back to your heart and lungs.
Sleep on your side, not your back
Sleeping on your side relieves pressure on the vena cava which is the largest vein leading into the heart. If you sleep on your back, the pressure will slow the blood returning from your lower body.
Consume enough fluids
Swelling will become much worse if you are dehydrated. Make sure to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day at least, to ensure you stay hydrated and healthy.
Monitor your weight
Women of a normal weight can expect to gain between 25 and 30 pounds during pregnancy. Excessive weight gain aggravates swelling and can cause other problems to arise.
Exercising your ankles will improve the circulation and aid in the prevention of very swollen feet. Sit with one leg raised, rotating your ankle 10 times to the right and then to the left. Switch legs and repeat ten times.
Apply ice to the inside of your ankles while they are raised. Do this for 15 to 20 minutes every half hour to an hour.
Compression socks can help persistent swelling of the legs/ feet. If swelling comes on suddenly or is only present in one leg, you should contact your doctor to make sure it is not a more serious condition.
It’s very common for pregnant women’s feet to actually ‘grow’ during pregnancy. This is due to pregnancy hormones such as relaxin and estrogen which causes the ligaments and joints of your feet to relax. The feet elongate when ligaments and joints loosen. So the best thing to do is to get your feet remeasured a few times throughout your pregnancy because they will likely change in size.
Multivitamins and Nutrition
‘Charley horses’ are painful muscle cramps which women often experience during pregnancy. These can be very painful contractions of the calf muscle are believed to be caused by a lack of calcium, potassium and too much phosphorous. Phosphorous can be found in diet sodas, processed meats and other on-the-go food products.
Eating potassium-rich bananas and increasing your calcium intake can help with these cramps too.
Swelling will be at it’s worst in warm conditions. Try to stay as cool as possible and make sure to keep hydrated at the same time.
For more advice on all things pregnancy, visit www.babydocclub.com