Tuesday, 16 August 2022 00:00

Edema During Pregnancy

The main issue of pregnancy affecting a woman’s feet and ankles is swelling or edema. Unfortunately, this is common and results due to hormonal changes, the production of extra blood during pregnancy, fluid retention, and circulation problems. The degree of swelling one will experience depends on various factors, such as the season of pregnancy, length of time spent on one’s feet, tightness of clothing or shoes, and time of day. Increases in progesterone slow down digestion which can lead to more fluid being absorbed in the large intestine and fluid retention. This hormone also slows down circulation and relaxes blood vessels making it easier for fluid to build up in the feet. Edema in pregnancy usually happens during the 3rd trimester, however, it can start earlier depending on the other factors discussed above. Often the swelling will continue until after birth and goes away within a few days or weeks after delivery. There is generally nothing to worry about with this type of swelling but sometimes it can signal more serious complications, like preeclampsia or deep vein thrombosis. If you have any questions as to what is normal with edema in the lower extremities during pregnancy, consult with a podiatrist who can diagnose any abnormal conditions or set your mind at ease.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Patrick Bruton, DPM from Big Country foot and Ankle. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Abilene, Brownwood, and Colorado City, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health

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