Some of the home remedies for swollen ankles during pregnancy are drinking more water, taking potassium-high diet, taking rest, be mindful of clothing, epsom salt bath, magnesium supplements, drink less coffee, use a skin brush, jojoba oil, massage, dietary changes, exercise regularly and apple cider vinegar.
During pregnancy you might go through several changes in your body, including hormonal changes, mood swings, weight gain, cravings, insomnia, swollen body parts, etc. Swollen body parts are a common symptom of pregnancy. Some women might have swollen nose, puffy neck and face, or some might have swollen feet and ankles. In most of the cases most women experience swollen feet and ankles due to the increased weight which falls on the feet and ankles.
This swelling of feet and ankles is a condition called edema. Edema affects about three quarters of pregnant women starting around week 22 to week 27 of pregnancy, and it sticks around until you give birth. The amount of swelling you experience can vary by the hour – increasing in the evening, or by the weather i.e. in warmer temperatures more swelling is forecasted.
What Causes Swollen Ankles?
Edema is a condition that occurs during pregnancy when the body fluids increase to nurture both you and your baby and accumulate in your tissues as a result of increased blood flow and pressure of your growing uterus on the pelvic veins and your vena cava (the large vein on the right side of your body that returns blood from your lower limbs to the heart). This causes you to experience swollen ankles and feet which can also spread to your hands, as you may have noticed. You might also be sporting more swelling in your feet if your weight gain has been on the faster side.
Are there Risks Associated with Swollen Ankles?
Mild swelling of the ankles and feet caused by edema is harmless and perfectly normal. It’s also just as normal not to experience noticeable swelling. However, if your hands or face becomes puffy and if the swelling persists for more than a day, then call your physician. Excessive swelling can be one sign of preeclampsia but when it is, it’s accompanied by a variety of other symptoms such as elevated blood pressure, rapid weight gain and protein in the urine. If your blood pressure and urine are normal they’re checked at each prenatal visit, there’s nothing to be concerned about.
17 Amazing Home Remedies to Treat Swollen Ankles During Pregnancy
Drink more Water
It is important to always stay hydrated in order to balance the fluid content of your body. Getting enough fluids helps reduce swelling. When the body doesn’t get enough fluids, it holds onto the fluids it already has eventually contributing to swelling in different body parts.
Another way to reduce swelling is to eat food that has high potassium content. Banana has a good amount of potassium, which can help maintain the potassium level of your body. This is a helpful way to deal with swelling.
Putting too much pressure on your feet will result in swelling mainly in the feet and ankle areas. Make sure to take frequent breaks from work and rest your legs by keeping your feet elevated for a while when resting. This will reduce ankle pains and also reduces swelling.
Be Mindful of Clothing
Make some changes in the things you wear during pregnancy. Wear comfortable shoes, and stockings or tights that are supportive. Avoid the ones that are too tight around the ankles. Wearing loose and light clothes will also keep you less irritated.
Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt not only helps with muscle pain, but also reduces swelling and inflammation. It draws out toxins and increases relaxation. Add few spoons of Epsom salt to your bath water and relax for 15-20 minutes in it.
Eating foods that are high in magnesium can help reduce swelling. Almonds, tofu, cashews, spinach, dark chocolate, broccoli, avocados, are some foods with high magnesium content. Taking 200 to 400 milligrams of magnesium daily might help with the swelling. But before you take any kind of supplement, ask your doctor, since magnesium supplements aren’t right for everyone, especially to people with kidney or heart condition.
Don’t be Still for Too Long
Do not sit or stand in one position for too long, since it can lead to edema. If you have a desk job, then see that you take breaks and stroll for few minutes. This helps to get proper circulation and eventually reducing swelling.
Drink Less Coffee
Caffeine is not a healthy option for pregnant women as it can dehydrate your body. In fact, it is best to stop drinking it when you have signs of swollen feet and ankles as it can lead to dehydration.
Use a Skin Brush
If you see signs of edema use a skin brush to help with circulation. Brush the skin of your ankles upward towards your heart. This is a way to help circulation and reduce inflammation.
Regular exercise is a great way to get rid of swollen feet and ankles. However, in certain cases exercising can also lead to swelling; therefore know which exercise is best for you during pregnancy. It is best to avoid heavy workouts. Work with a professional trainer to avoid risks.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar mixed with water balances the electrolytes of your body as it has high levels of potassium. You can even wrap a towel soaked in equal parts of warm water and apple cider vinegar to reduce swelling in your ankles.
Swimming helps by going against the pull of gravity on the fluids, and supporting for a good circulation. This is also a safe form of exercise for pregnant women.
You can use jojoba oil to massage your feet and ankles after soaking. Massaging is good for blood circulation as well as to reduce swelling. Jojoba has antibacterial properties which reduce inflammation, redness, and painful swelling.
It is common to get exhausted during your pregnancy without even working. Well that is because you are carrying a little human in your body. A good massage is the remedy to make you feel really relaxed. Also if you are struggling with swelling in your feet and ankles, then a good massage will also help with circulation.
Reducing sodium intake can help decrease swelling in your body, including in your feet and ankles. Opt for low-sodium versions of your favorite foods, and try to refrain from adding salt to meals.
Try Support Hose
Full pantyhose with extra tummy room or knee- or thigh-highs is a better choice if you’re perpetually warm. Whichever type of support hose you choose put them on in the morning before the daily swelling starts so they can do their job more effectively.
Sleep on your Side
Sleeping on your side, preferably on your left helps keep your kidneys humming along, which in turn helps waste elimination and reduces swelling. Give rest to your legs as much as possible.
When to see your Doctor?
Depending on what’s causing the swelling, some of these remedies might not be effective all of the time for everyone. If one doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to try another or use one in conjunction with another. When none of the home remedies alleviate your swollen feet or you notice other symptoms that accompany your swollen feet, call your doctor immediately. These symptoms could indicate an underlying health condition that needs attention. Your doctor may prescribe diuretics if they think that medical steps are necessary to reduce the fluid retention.
Before you use any supplements consult your obstetrician. If you have any underlying medical conditions or take any medications, check with your doctor before adding a supplement. Even natural supplements and vitamins can interfere with medications, so it’s always good to touch the base first.