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I'm Pregnant: Why Are My Feet So Swollen?

I'm Pregnant: Why Are My Feet So Swollen?

Pregnancy brings many exciting, joyful emotions as you await the birth of your bundle of joy. The only downside during this time is that you may experience some less-than-pleasant symptoms. One common discomfort you may face while pregnant is swollen feet. Rest assured, you aren’t alone. 

Here at Northeast Pediatric Associates PA, we provide expert care for expectant mothers. Our team is here to offer guidance and help you navigate the changes your body experiences during pregnancy, in addition to answering any questions you may have.

Why your feet might swell

During pregnancy, your body undergoes significant changes to accommodate the growing life inside you. Those changes include:

Increased blood volume

Your body produces extra blood to support the needs of your developing baby, leading to a higher volume circulating through your veins. This increased blood volume can cause fluid to accumulate in your tissues, particularly in your lower extremities, resulting in swollen feet and ankles.

Hormonal fluctuations

The surge in hormones, including progesterone, can cause your blood vessels to relax and widen. Although this relaxation is essential for accommodating the increased blood flow to your baby, it can also contribute to fluid retention and swelling in your feet and ankles.

Expanding uterus

As your uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby, it puts pressure on the veins in your pelvic area. This pressure can hinder the return of blood from your lower body to your heart, causing fluid to pool in your feet and ankles, further exacerbating swelling.

Weight gain

Additional pounds you put on to support your baby can place extra pressure on your lower body, making it more susceptible to swelling.

Long periods of standing or sitting

Standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time can impede blood flow and exacerbate swelling. If your job or daily routine involves extended periods of standing or sitting, be sure to take breaks to elevate your legs and improve circulation.

The importance of paying attention to symptoms

Even though swollen feet during pregnancy are common and usually harmless, it's essential to monitor your symptoms closely. In some cases, excessive or sudden swelling, especially if accompanied by other symptoms, such as headaches, vision changes, or abdominal pain, could indicate a more serious condition called preeclampsia.

If you experience any concerning symptoms, reach out to our team immediately for further evaluation and guidance.

Tips to alleviate swelling

Fortunately, there are several ways to alleviate swelling in your feet and ankles during pregnancy. Elevate your legs whenever possible to promote better circulation and reduce fluid accumulation.

Wear comfortable, supportive shoes, and don’t wear tight-fitting socks or stockings. Staying hydrated and consuming a balanced diet low in sodium can also help prevent excess fluid retention.

Although swelling is generally harmless, it's still wise to follow these simple remedies to manage swelling so that you can focus on enjoying your pregnancy journey to the fullest.

If you’re pregnant and have concerning symptoms, reach out to the practice nearest you in San Antonio, North Central San Antonio, Schertz, or Castroville, Texas. Call or use the online scheduler today. You can also request a telehealth appointment for convenience.

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