My feet and ankles are swollen, is this normal?

Swollen ankles, feet and fingers during pregnancy can be an uncomfortable part of your pregnancy and this swelling happens because your body retains more fluid than usual and this 'pools', particularly if you've been standing a lot or if it's hot weather (which we've been having a lot of lately!). It is usually more noticeable towards the end of the day as the extra water tends to gather in the lowest parts of the body. The gradual swelling isn't harmful to you or your baby.

How to ease swollen feet and ankles

Don't force your feet into your pre-pregnancy shoe if they're feeling too tight - comfy shoes are the order of the day

When you get a chance to sit down, try to raise your feet on cushions or pillows

Don't sit with your feet or legs crossed

Rotate your feet clockwise and anti-clockwise regularly

Exercise - swimming and walking will both help

Avoid salty foods and make sure you drink plenty of fluids

When swelling can be serious

If you get sudden swelling in your face, hands or feet, you should contact your GP or midwife because it can be one of the symptoms of pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy-related condition that can be harmful for you and your baby.

Other signs of pre-eclampsia can include:

Severe headache

Problems with vision, such as blurring or flashing before the eyes

Severe pain just below the ribs

Vomiting

Don't forget though ladies, swelling in your hands and feet often occurs in a HEALTHY pregnancy and is not necessarily a sign of preeclampsia, however, if you ARE concerned give your midwife a quick ring for reassurance.


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