Over the last week I have been so busy with work and organising my sons 1st birthday party that my legs, ankles and feet have become swollen! Although when I’m at work I’m not actually on my my feet I sit at a desk they still seem to get swollen! I’m currently 22 weeks and in my 1st pregnancy I didn’t get this until I was 29 weeks onwards. And I only got it when I was on my feet a lot!
At the moment when I crouch down it feels like my legs are so swollen they are going to pop by the pressure! They aren’t actually that swollen but that’s how my legs feel. I read up about swelling in pregnancy and pre eclampsia comes up but this is usually towards the end of your pregnancy and is a lot worse than what I am experiencing.
Another medical explanation is oedema, which means that your body is holding on to too much fluid. It’s caused by the extra blood circulating in your body because you’re pregnant.
Unfortunately, it’s very common to have oedema during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester. Between 50 per cent and 80 per cent of healthy pregnant women have it. Hot weather can make oedema worse.
Things I need to do to help:
Put my feet up whenever possible, to help your circulation. At work, keep a footstool or box under my desk (will have to try this!) At home, try to lie down, on my left side, as this takes pressure off the inferior vena cava.
Put on support tights before I get out of bed in the morning, so blood has no chance to pool around my ankles. If they don’t help, see the doctor. She can prescribe compression stockings.
Drink plenty of water. Surprisingly, keeping hydrated helps your body hoard less water.
Exercise regularly, especially by walking, swimming or using an exercise bike.
If travelling long distances, take regular breaks to stretch my legs.
Eat well, and try not to have high-sodium and salty foods, such as olives and salted nuts.
If the skin isn’t too tight and painful, ask someone to massage your ankles and feet, upward towards your knees. This can help to move the fluid away from my feet!