Swollen ankles in pregnancy is one of the many unpleasant side effects of pregnancy. However, this condition can be prevented as well as treated and is not something to be worried about.
Swollen ankles in pregnancy is one of the most common symptoms, and can be painful and difficult to handle. They need not be a cause of serious concern, however. They should be considered a part and parcel of the approaching motherhood, like the other side effects of morning sickness and backaches. Around 90% of women experience swollen ankles during this time. Some of the women may experience them in the early months, while some may experience it in the later stages. A few women may also experience swollen feet. These conditions can be dealt with by following some easy remedies.
The condition of swollen ankles, feet, and toes experienced in pregnancy, is known as edema. This condition is caused due to various reasons. The biggest reason is excessive water retention. During pregnancy, the bodily fluids increase for the nourishment of the baby as well as the mother. At times, the body is unable to flush out these fluids appropriately, which causes water retention in the body tissues and as a result of this, your ankles swell up. Another reason for this side effect could be the pressure exerted on the pelvic veins, by the growing uterus. The pressure exerted causes the blood to collect, which forces the fluids down from the veins to the tissues of the ankles and feet.
The symptoms of edema include puffy, sore ankles, which may appear bluish or purplish in color. The feet, knees, and toes may also swell up. This mostly occurs at the end of the day and the symptoms may aggravate in the summer. The swelling reduces and disappears completely at the beginning of the day, but returns by night. Although minor swelling is considered normal during this time, swelling that persists and causes even the face and hands to bloat, maybe symptoms of pre-eclampsia. This is a serious disorder observed in pregnant women, during the final trimester, caused due to high blood sugar levels and may need immediate medical attention when diagnosed.
- Avoid standing or sitting for long hours. Take adequate rest and get proper sleep.
- Take up some yoga exercises as an essential part of your daily routine. Go for walks in the morning and evening, and exercise at home, that involves stretching of the calf muscles.
- Drink plenty of water all throughout the day. This will help flush out the fluids and will prevent water retention.
- Include a lot of potassium-rich foods in your diet, and avoid the excessive intake of sodium rich foods and caffeine.
- Keep your feet elevated, i.e., above your waist, for a while.
- If the pain increases, apply an ice pack.
- Wearing a support hose while carrying out daily chores and working can help reduce the swelling.
- Massage the affected areas with essential oils, like lavender oil or peppermint oil at the end of the day.
- Make sure that your footwear is light, comfortable, and soft.
- Avoid wearing tight elastic socks or stockings.
- A tried and tested easy home remedy is to drink herbal tea twice a day.
- Dip your feet in a solution made by boiling dried parsley leaves and dandelion leaves or either of the two together.
If the swelling is persistent along with increasing pain, make sure you consult your doctor, to confirm or eliminate the possibility of pre-eclampsia caused swelling.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.