Pregnancy is a wonderful time that should be celebrated, enjoyed, and embraced. Unfortunately, for an unlucky many, it can be difficult to enjoy the beauty of pregnancy when pesky pregnancy issues pop up. One such pesky issue of pregnancy is swollen feet. This common condition – also referred to as edema – is when excess fluid is retained in your body. Fluid can be retained in the hands, feet, legs, or even face. Because many pregnant women spend a majority of their time on their feet due to life’s demands, swollen feet is the most common way a case of edema may show up. If you find yourself suffering from swollen or sore feet during pregnancy, then here are some home remedies for sore feet that will help ease your journey through pregnancy.
What Causes Edema?
During pregnancy, a woman’s blood volume increases by at least 50% to help support her growing baby. With all that extra blood circulating around, and the quickly accumulating weight pregnancy brings on, many pregnant women may experience edema. This is when there is a swelling of the hands or feet because of an excess retention of water. Fortunately, swollen feet during pregnancy is something that is completely normal even though it may be completely uncomfortable. If you are one of the unlucky ladies who have to suffer from swollen feet or legs during pregnancy, then this guide is for you.
If you are struggling with swollen feet during pregnancy, then a simple remedy is to stay hydrated. It might seem silly to consume more of what is causing your swollen feet in the first place, but drinking enough water and staying hydrated will help your body get rid of some of the extra fluid it is hanging on to. When you are dehydrated, your body goes into preservation mode. Your kidneys hang on to water because they think your body needs it. When you consume more water, you are giving your body the go-ahead to get rid of the water it’s been hanging onto. Always keep a bottle of water nearby to remind yourself to stay hydrated. Especially if you are suffering from swollen feet during the summertime.
Pamper Your Feet
Sometimes the best home remedy for sore feet is a little foot pampering. Visit your local grocery store or pharmacy and stock up on some Epsom salt because your swollen feet will thank you when you indulge them in foot baths. This can be a weekly, biweekly, or even daily routine. Mix a half a cup of Epsom salt in a foot bath or tub filled with warm water. Let your feet soak for twenty to thirty minutes or until your legs feel refreshed and loose. For a more enjoyable foot bath, don’t hesitate to add a couple of drops of essential oils like lavender, peppermint, or wintergreen.
Avoid The Salt
You might want to keep an eye on your salt intake if you are having issues with swollen feet or swollen legs. Salt helps retain water in your body. If you are retaining too much water, then it will contribute to swollen feet. If you’re having a hard time putting down the sodium goodness, then consider swapping out your standard table salt for unprocessed sea salt. The right type of salt – sea salt – will help you retain sodium in your blood (where you want it) and not in your tissue (where you don’t).
Sleep On Your Left Side
If you have managed to hang on to sleep during your pregnancy, then this next tip’s for you. When you sleep, try sleeping on your left side. Sleeping on your left side is the best position to encourage good blood circulation. Good circulation is a key factor in helping relieve your swollen legs or swollen feet.
A great way to get your blood moving is to exercise. You don’t have to go to the gym or run a marathon to do it either. A simple walk around the block will do the trick. Try to squeeze in a walk or two several times in the week to get your blood moving around. Brisk walking is a good way to keep your body in shape and to keep blood clots at bay. If you have a job where you are sitting at a desk for several hours at a time, make it a point to take a break every few hours. Walking around your building or just even getting up to stretch is another way to avoid foot pain and swelling in your legs.
A good habit to get into to avoid foot pain or leg aches is stretching. When you wake up in the morning or before you do physical activity, it’s a good idea to stretch your muscles. Focus on stretching calf muscles and leg muscles because your feet will be bearing the brunt of the load. If you’re sitting down, a good exercise to do is ankle rolls. Roll your ankles from side to side to loosen them up. This will also help encourage blood circulation so that you can avoid swollen or sore feet.
Compression Pantyhose And Socks
An excellent home remedy for swollen and sore feet can be found in your sock drawer. Compression pantyhose and socks will help keep certain amounts of pressure on your legs to help ease any swelling that might happen. Before you go out to your local pharmacy to purchase compression pantyhose and socks, make sure to check your closet or sock drawer first. Snug fitting tights can work just as well if you don’t have a pair of compression pantyhose or socks on hand. If you haven’t got any snug fitting tights, then it’s not a bad idea to invest in compression pantyhose or socks.
Kick Up And Relax
Another easy home remedy for swollen feet is to kick your feet up and relax. If you are sitting at home watching TV or curling up with a good book, make sure to keep your legs elevated. Keeping your feet elevated will take the pressure off your feet and give you some much-needed relief. Along with this, proper foot elevation allows your body to take a break. When you keep your legs elevated, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to return your blood to your heart to be pumped around. Use gravity to your advantage and elevate your legs to promote proper blood circulation.
When To See A Doctor
Although uncommon, swelling and pain in your legs could be an indication that there is a serious underlying condition such as preeclampsia. If your swollen legs continue to retain water, and you notice other symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, or blurred vision, it is best to call your practitioner right away. If you experience painful foot cramps that persist or worsen over time, then that’s another indication that you should get in touch with your doctor right away.
Pregnancy, although with its complications at times, can still be a memorable and enjoyable experience. Swollen feet and sore legs do not have to put a damper on this special time period in your life. If you do experience swollen feet and sore legs, eliminate some of your discomforts by using these at home remedies to find relief. Good luck!