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Video:Soothe Swollen Feet During Pregnancy

with Kathy Moore

During pregnancy, your belly usually isn't the only part of your body that grows. Learn why feet, ankles, and legs swell during pregnancy, and learn ways to reduce and alleviate this swelling.See Transcript

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Transcript:Soothe Swollen Feet During Pregnancy

Hi, I'm Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. When you're pregnant, your belly usually is not the only part of your body that grows. Sometimes, your ankles, feet and legs swell. This program explains why this swelling occurs and how to soothe your extremities.

Why Does Your Body Swell During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy puts a strain on the circulation in your lower body. This can cause excess fluid to collect, creating swollen feet, ankles and even varicose veins. Sitting for a long time at a desk, in a car or on a plane slows down the blood from your extremities to your heart even more.

The swelling usually worsens by the end of the day, and is most prevalent during the summer months.

Tips to Alleviate Swelling During Pregnancy

To reduce the swelling and help sooth your feet:
  • Lie on your left side when you sleep to relieve some of the pressure on your veins.
  • Put your feet up when ever possible.
  • Soak your feet in cool water.
  • Do not cross your legs or ankles when you sit.
  • Stretch your legs often when you do have to sit for extended periods. Rotate your ankles, stretch your calf and heal and wiggle your toes.
  • Drink water. This sounds counter intuitive, but the water actually helps your body function better, including retaining less water.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and avoid socks that have tight bands.

Sudden Swelling and Concerns

If you notice any swelling in your face or any swelling that is excessive or sudden, call your doctor. This could be a sign of preeclampsia.

Though the swelling can be unsightly and uncomfortable, it will go away after you give birth. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at parenting.about.com.
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