A woman’s body undergoes many changes during pregnancy, one of which is swelling of the feet and ankle. Swelling also known as edema is caused by fluid buildup in the tissues. Fluid retention is caused by increased pressure in veins located in your legs and weight of the growing baby.
Half of all pregnant women suffer swelling in the feet and ankles, especially during the last months of pregnancy. Swelling can be seen in any part of the body. Swelling however is more common in the feet and ankles because it’s the lowest point in the body. Which logically makes it an ideal area for fluid buildup.
When should you call a doctor?
Swelling in the feet and ankles is common among women. But swelling can also be caused by other factors outside of pregnancy. This is a very sensitive period in a woman’s life and we must ensure the health of both mother and baby. Consult a podiatrist for anything unusual in the feet. Dr. Gregory Mangum and Dr. Bruce Miller are podiatrists who specializes in foot care and treating foot disorders.
When swelling is noticed on one leg or is visibly larger, this may not be caused by pregnancy but a blood clot (thrombosis).
Severe edema. Checking for this can be done by pinching the swollen area. If the skin does not go back to its normal shape after a second or leaves an indent then this can be considered severe. It can be an indication of pre-eclampsia.
Keeping your feet healthy
Swelling in the feet and ankles is common among women but this does not necessarily mean that it could not be avoided. Keeping our feet is a must, with or without pregnancy. Here are simple steps to prevent feet and ankle swelling during pregnancy.
Minimize the pressure on your feet by minimizing time spent standing or avoid weight bearing activities
- Wear shoes that provide good support
- Ask your doctor for orthotics that helps distribute weight
- Elevate your feet to decrease swelling
- Massage your feet regularly to promote better circulation
- Light feet exercises such as walking improve blood circulation
The Texas Foot Specialists located in Sugar Land, Pasadena and Houston we specialize in helping pregnant women with swollen feet and ankles. To schedule an appointment call Sugar Land (281) 242-4448, Pasadena (281) 991-0600 and Houston (713) 664-6677.