Causes of ankle swelling during pregnancy and how to cope?

Causes of ankle swelling during pregnancy and how to cope?

Pregnant women are often faced with ankle swelling during pregnancy. When the swelling starts during pregnancy, the affected woman must not ignore it. She must seek the required medical help.

Hormonal changes cum impaired blood flow (due to increased pressure on the veins) are responsible for causing pregnancy swelling. To alleviate ankle swelling during pregnancy and its effects, it is better to stay off one’s feet as much as possible, particularly in the evening hours. Gravity aggravates these symptoms by causing excess fluids to collect in one’s ankles, legs, as well as feet.

The issue that concerns women most is when swelling starts during pregnancy.

Various factors tend to contribute to foot as well as ankle swelling during pregnancy. For starters, one’s body does retain more fluid during pregnancy. Also, the growing uterus does put pressure on one’s veins, which does impair the return of blood to one’s heart. Hormonal changes do also play a role.

Causes of ankle swelling during pregnancy and how to cope?

Foot as well as ankle swelling during pregnancy happens to be common and usually does go away after delivery. In the meantime, it does help to:

  • Stay off one’s feet- It is advisable to avoid standing for long periods. Whenever it is possible it is a good idea to sit with the feet up and occasionally rotate one’s feet at the ankles and then gently flex one’s feet to stretch one’s calf muscles. Better yet, lie down with one’s legs elevated.
  • Sleep on one’s left side- This does take pressure off the large vein that does return blood from the lower half of one’s body to one’s heart (inferior vena cava). It also might help if a person elevates her legs slightly with pillows.
  • Wear compression stockings- One’s health care provider might suggest the wearing of supportive tights or stockings during the day.
  • Be physically active every day- Take walks, ride a stationary bike or swim laps in a pool.
  • Stand or walk in the pool- Although there happens to be less research on the use of water pressure for the foot as well as ankle swelling, standing or walking in a pool does appear to be of much help to compress tissues in one’s legs and might also provide temporary relief from swelling during pregnancy.
  • Wear loose clothing. Tight clothing can indeed restrict blood flow. Avoid wearing socks or stockings with tight bands on the ankles or calves.
  • Some research indicates that foot massage and reflexology, which involves applying pressure to some parts of the feet, hands as well as ears, might rather help decrease foot as well as ankle swelling during pregnancy. Also, swelling does not mean cutting back on how much a person drinks. Thus, ankle swelling during pregnancy is an issue to reckon with.

Although mild foot, as well as ankle swelling during pregnancy, is considered to be normal, sudden painful swelling — especially if it happens to be in one leg only — could be an indication of a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis). A sudden increase in swelling also might mean that one’s blood pressure is higher than normal. Both conditions do require prompt evaluation as well as treatment.

It is quite evident that much focus has to be there on a pregnant woman’s fee condition in case of when the swelling starts during pregnancy.


Why does a woman have swollen ankles and feet during pregnancy? It is obvious the swelling, or edema is from the excess fluid that collects in the body tissues. It is normal to have a certain amount of swelling during pregnancy, particularly in one’s ankles as well as feet, because there is the retention of more water. Changes in one’s blood chemistry also do make the fluid enter into one’s tissue.

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