7 Ways to Treat Your Feet During Pregnancy
Maternity bra? Check. Maternity band? Check. But oy, those tired feet!
As your belly grows and your baby gets bigger and bigger inside you, your feet are left bearing the weight of all those extra pounds. Did you know that your body produces about 50% more blood and fluids during pregnancy? This swelling (called edema) affects the feet, ankles, legs, hands and face. According to whattoexpect.com, roughly 3 out of 4 pregnant women experience some sort of edema during pregnancy.
Most women dismiss swollen feet as a normal part of pregnancy and are left to suffer through the pain and discomfort. Wearing shoes that are too tight can lead to blisters, tired, achy feet, leg cramps and hip pain.
Finding comfort during pregnancy isn’t always easy, but soothing tired feet is. Here are 7 ways to treat those tired feet - because a relaxed mama means a relaxed baby! (Be sure to always check with your midwife or doctor first before trying a new health care regimen during pregnancy.)
1. Elevate Your Feet
Kicking back and propping your legs and feet up on a pillow, chair or leg rest cushion helps to relieve pressure on your veins, improve blood circulation and reduce swelling in your feet. Try keeping your feet elevated for at least an hour to experience the greatest relief. If you’re in your third trimester, it’s best to lie on your side rather in the reclining position.
2. Invest in a Good Pair of Shoes
The right pair of shoes can go a long way in keeping you comfortable through pregnancy and your baby’s first year. Most shoes are built to fit a standard-sized foot without taking any sort of swelling or expansion into consideration. As feet expand during pregnancy, you need a shoe that can grow along with them. Fuzzy slippers are comfy, but they offer zero support. (Plus, it’s pretty embarrassing to get caught in your slippers at the supermarket.)
Pandere is the only shoe on the market that offers style, expansion AND comfort. They are designed to expand in all the right places up to three widths, while still providing support for tired and swollen feet. For pregnant women with extra wide feet, check out the Saturday. Built on an extra wide last, the Saturday expands up to an EEE width for women.
3. DIY Foot Spa
Fill a small basin or your regular tub with warm water and add ½ cup Epsom salt (basin) or 1 cup Epsom salt (tub). If you’re past the first trimester, you may want to add a few drops of an essential oil, such as lavender, eucalyptus or peppermint, to calm and relax aching feet. Soak for 15 minutes. After drying feet, rub in your favorite foot cream or lotion and pull on a pair of thick socks to lock in moisture.
4. Pre-Natal Massage
A pre-natal massage can soothe pregnancy aches and pains in your whole body, especially in the lower back, legs and feet. Before booking an appointment, check that the masseuse is trained to perform pre-natal massage; trigger points throughout the body can set off contractions, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Check with your doctor for recommendations.
5. Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water is one of the most important things you can do for your growing baby and a good way to treat your tired feet. Water can help you steer clear of many unwanted pregnancy symptoms (like hemmorrhoids 🙈), but especially helps to keep swelling in the feet and ankles at bay. To make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day, try carrying a refillable water bottle.
6. Skip the Salt
Excess sodium can lead to water retention, which is the last thing you want when you’re already swollen. Ditch the potato chips and reach instead for a healthy snack such as a banana, plain baked potato, cucumber or orange. Potassium-rich foods may help to further reduce water retention and ease swelling in your feet and ankles.
7. Keep Cool
Is it hot in here or am I just pregnant? Pregnant women tend to have slightly higher body temperatures and are less likely to feel cold when temperatures drop. Feeling hot, especially during warm weather, can cause swelling in your feet and ankles. As it heats up outside (or inside!), do what you can to keep cool. Dress appropriately for the heat, stay out of the sun, find air conditioning and be sure to drink plenty of water.
Also in Foot Freedom Almanac
Let’s face it, wearing compression can be really hard. Especially if you have a condition like lymphedema or lipedema that causes chronic swelling. Not wearing compression can be far worse! Avoiding or neglecting compression or treatment can put you further down the path of pain or debilitation.