Swollen Feet & Pregnancy

Swollen Feet & Pregnancy

Some of the most common occurrences during pregnancy are swollen feet and edema. It has been found that edema occurs in 35-80% of normal pregnancies. This can be extremely uncomfortable for pregnant women and can sometimes lead to more concerning medical issues.

 

Edema in the feet and ankles typically becomes worse as the pregnancy progresses. The closer the woman is to her due date, the more common it is for swollen feet to arise. Swollen feet can make it difficult for pregnant women to get through basic activities of daily living. There are remedies to help relieve and prevent this discomfort. SwellNoMore’s natural diuretic supplement may be the answer for women who are struggling with this uncomfortable condition.

 

What Causes Swollen Feet in Pregnancy?

Swollen feet during pregnancy is considered a completely normal response. There are a few reasons why this type of swelling may occur and there are also situations in which this swelling can be a sign of a more serious complication. Throughout this article, we will review all of these circumstances!

 

During pregnancy, the amount of fluid in the body increases. During a normal pregnancy, total body water increases by 6-8 liters! From this amount, 2-3 liters are interstitial, meaning they are within the cells, and the remaining 4-6 liters are extracellular. The extracellular fluid remains outside of the cells to help maintain electrolyte balance, enhance oxygen transport, and clear toxins from the body.  This large amount of extracellular fluid explains why the majority of women will experience some sort of swelling.

 

Since fluids are increased throughout the body, this means there is also more sodium being retained. Increased sodium retention leads to bloating and edema.

 

Not only do fluids increase throughout pregnancy, but the volume of blood plasma increases drastically as well. The growing fetus needs more blood flow to transport vital nutrients and oxygen. As a result, the amount of plasma will increase by an average of 46-50%. When the volume of plasma increases, osmotic pressure rises, and excess fluids can leak into the extracellular spaces.

More Serious Complications

As previously mentioned, swollen feet are a completely normal bodily response during pregnancy. Natural responses from hydration shifts and blood volume can result in swelling. However, there are rare cases in which these fluid shifts can lead to more serious complications, including pre-eclampsia and blood clots.

Pre-eclampsia

High blood pressure is a common side effect of edema, but if edema becomes severe and uncontrolled, this high blood pressure can lead to serious problems, such as pre-eclampsia.

 

Pre-eclampsia is very rare, affecting only 5% of pregnancies, but it can be fatal. Pre-eclampsia occurs when pregnant or post-partum women develop high blood pressure, leading to protein in the urine. Pre-eclampsia can be very dangerous for both the mother and fetus. The mother can develop seizures, strokes, organ failure, and even death for the mother or fetus.

 

In pre-eclampsia, swelling goes beyond just the feet and ankles. The mother will typically see swelling in the face, hands, and around the eyes.

Blood Clots

Another serious complication associated with swelling may be a blood clot in the leg, thigh, or pelvis. This type of blood clot is known as deep venous thrombosis. A major sign of blood clots is swelling in just one of the legs. Other symptoms may include redness, pain, and tenderness in the affected area.

 

Remedies For Relieving Normal Pregnancy Swelling

Taking care of oneself during pregnancy is of utmost importance for the health of the mother and fetus. Swelling in the feet and ankles can be extremely debilitating and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are remedies to help relieve and prevent discomfort from swollen feet and edema.

 

  • Eat foods high in potassium - such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes
  • Keep the feet elevated when lying down, try propping a pillow underneath them
  • Soak feet with Epsom salt
  • Avoid being outside during very humid or warm weather
  • Limit intake of highly processed foods that contain high amounts of sodium
  • Increase water intake to help flush out excess sodium
  • Wear compression socks, especially when traveling
  • Avoid sitting for long periods of time - try to walk or do 30 minutes of light exercise daily
  • Massage the feet with essential oils, such as eucalyptus or lavender
  • Try a natural diuretic, such as SwellNoMore

 

SwellNoMore is an all-natural and powerful diuretic that may help pregnant women struggling with swollen feet. Swell No More was developed by some of the leading researchers in the industry and is backed by science.

best natural diuretic

 

Always make sure to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new products or supplements. If you are pregnant or have recently given birth and experience swelling that comes on quickly, accompanied by other unusual side effects, contact your physician immediately.

 

 

By: Jordana Tobelem RD, LDN

swollen feet and pregnancy

 

References

 

Davison JM. Edema in pregnancy. Kidney Int Suppl. 1997;59:S90-S96.

Hytten F. Blood volume changes in normal pregnancy. Clin Haematol. 1985;14(3):601-612

Howard E. LeWine MD. Preeclampsia and Eclampsia. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/preeclampsia-and-eclampsia-a-to-z#:~:text=A%20woman%20with%20preeclampsia%20develops,the%20mother%20and%20the%20fetus. Published August 24, 2021.

Jablonski N. Swelling in pregnancy: When to worry (and what's perfectly OK). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/swelling-in-pregnancy-when-to-worry#concerning-symptoms. Published March 19, 2020.

Kaysen GA, Paukert TT, Menke DJ, Couser WG, Humphreys MH. Plasma volume expansion is necessary for edema formation in the rate with Heymann nephritis. Am J Physiol. 1985;248(2 Pt 2):F247-F253. doi:10.1152/ajprenal.1985.248.2.F247

SCHREIER A. The nurse-midwifery management of physiological edema in pregnancy. Journal of Nurse-Midwifery. 1976;21(4):18-22. doi:10.1016/0091-2182(76)90086-0

 




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