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Prairie Path Foot & Ankle Clinic

Legs swelling during pregnancy?


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5/28/2014
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During your pregnancy you may have noticed that your feet, ankles and even lower legs would become swollen.  This is especially prominent toward the end of the day and can make your legs feel tired and heavy.  It can even make your shoes feel tighter and be painful because of this. Why does this happen?

One reason contributing to swelling in legs during pregnancy is the increased water retention.  This places more stress on your body to flush the fluid out of the legs and with gravity (walking and standing during the day) this becomes even more difficult.

Another reason, which is most commonly worse during the last half of your pregnancy, is due to the pressure that baby places on the large vein in the pelvis (called your venae cava) which is where all that fluid has to go to get out of the legs.

One further cause can be if your foot structure collapses over time during pregnancy from the release of the hormone relaxin.  If foot structure flattens, this makes the calf muscle work differently and can lead to a less effective muscle pumping which normally helps the veins to bring fluid away from the feet and legs.

Swelling in your feet and legs can be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful if shoes start to fit tighter. Sometimes ingrown nails become an issue if the shoe isn't allowing room for swelling and the nails already have a natural curvature to their shape.  While many people would say that swelling in the legs during pregnancy is a reality - it doesn't mean you can't minimize discomfort!  Compression stockings, arch supports and elevating your feet when you are resting are all going to help decrease swelling and discomfort.

Call us today if you are suffering from foot pain, discomfort or swelling during pregnancy - there are plenty of ways we can help make you more comfortable and they are safe for baby!



Category: Women's Foot Health

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