As we head into summer, one thing that normally shows up while pregnant is water retention and cankles. Our bodies will produce up to 50% more blood and body fluids while we are pregnant to support the growing baby. Swelling might be a normal part of pregnancy, but it's not a wanted part of pregnancy. Most women swell in their hands, face, legs, ankles, and feet. We are going to chat about swelling mostly in the feet and ways to help and/or prevent. We do want to encourage you to contact your obstetrician/midwife if you are experiencing swelling to ensure it's not a sign of any issues during your pregnancy.
How can you help reduce or prevent swelling, especially in your feet? We have a few ideas for you:
- Cut down on salt. So we want to encourage you to minimize salty snacks like chips, nuts, etc. Instead of using salt on your meals, you can utilize a salt substitute. We know this one might be hard especially since a lot of premade foods have a lot of sodium. Also chips are delicious.
- Keep exercising and moving. This helps get the fluid moving in your legs. So head out for a walk, do some gentle stretching, or head to your favorite exercise class.
- Pick up a pair of compression socks. Compression socks are going to be very important if you are standing a lot of the day. So if you are working in a restaurant, styling hair, massaging people, teaching children, or any other occupation where you stand a lot, we highly suggest picking up a pair (or two). As a bonus, compression socks can help prevent varicose veins.
- Grab a belly band to help support your bump. Taking some of the baby up and off your veins will help allow blood to flow better. As a bonus, belly bands are great to help alleviate a bit of pressure on your bladder, reduce pelvic and back pain, and increase postural stability.
- Cross your legs less or don't cross them at all. This can cut off some body fluid flow around the body. This might become less of an issue later in pregnancy as it becomes harder to work around the bump.
As always Momma, we encourage you to drink more water during the hot months. When drinking, check the sodium levels of what you are drinking to ensure it has no or low sodium.
As summer heats up, we hope you have a cankle-less summer!