Swelling in the feet usually happens later in pregnancy, when the weight of the uterus and fetus puts extra pressure on the legs and feet. This pressure can reduce circulation and increase fluid buildup, which causes swelling.
Swelling in the feet isn’t usually harmful to you or your baby, but it can be uncomfortable.
These are the ways to reduce swollen feet during pregnancy
- avoiding standing for long periods, as this can increase pressure in the legs and feet and cause more swelling
- elevating the feet slightly to increase blood flow toward the heart
- raising the legs on pillows while sleeping
- wearing supportive tights or compression stockings to help improve circulation in the legs
- keeping active throughout the day, with short walks or gentle exercise
- limiting salt intake
- staying hydrated and drinking 8–10 glasses of fluid each day to help prevent the body from holding onto excess water
- avoiding caffeine, as it is a diuretic, which means that it promotes the increased production of urine
- wearing loose, comfortable clothing
- wearing loose socks and comfortable shoes
- avoiding sitting for long periods
- staying cool and spending limited time outdoors in hot weather
- sleeping on the left side of the body, which can help increase blood flow to the heart
- trying massage or reflexology to improve circulation
If you’re unsure whether your swelling is normal, or have any concerns, it is always best to call your doctor or midwife.