What Should I Do About Swollen Feet After Pregnancy?
After delivering a baby, your body tends to retain plenty of water. This leads to the swelling of many parts of your body. The feet, ankles, and legs are the most common parts that swell up during the postpartum phase. This condition is also known as edema.
Swollen feet after pregnancy are the result of excessive fluids and blood being trapped in your leg’s tissues. The swelling usually subsides after a few days. But there are certain important things that you should know to reduce and deal with swelling in your feet after pregnancy.
Understanding the condition and knowing how to tackle it can help in preventing some serious complications. But I would advise you to visit your doctor if you spot any abnormal or unusual symptoms related to the swelling.
Causes of Swollen Feet After Pregnancy
1. Changes in the Body During Pregnancy
Did you know that your body builds a high level of progesterone when you’re pregnant? And the effects of excessive progesterone are water and sodium retention.
When your uterus expands while the baby grows, the pressure exerted on your leg’s veins also increases. And this restricts the flow of blood to and from your lower body.
Simultaneously, the fluids in your body keep building up during pregnancy. And they take some time to leave your body even after the pregnancy. Therefore, swollen feet during pregnancy is one of the leading causes of swollen feet after pregnancy.
Pregnancy Health Tips : Treating Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
2. The Delivery Process
This cause does not apply to those who opt for C-section childbirth. Vaginal birth requires you to do a lot of pushing, right? And this pushing increases pressure on your legs. It sends significant amounts of fluids and blood to your legs and other parts of the body. And this causes your feet, legs, hands, and face to swell up.
3. The Use of IV Fluids
In the delivery process, if your body receives some IV fluids, then swollen feet after pregnancy is inevitable.
When experiencing C-section childbirth, many women need to receive medication and anesthesia with the help of an IV. Expectant mothers opting for vaginal delivery also need to receive medicines like Pitocin and some others fluids through the IV.
So all these excessive fluids can increase the liquid content of your body. And your body may take a few days to shed those excessive fluids. But until then, the fluids are trapped inside the tissues of the body. This causes swelling in your feet, ankles, legs, and hands.
When Should You Worry About the Swelling?
After pregnancy swollen feet is common, so you don’t need to worry about anything. Every woman experiences it after childbirth, no matter how hard they try to avoid it. At the same time, it’s common for complications to present themselves as well. So what are these complications?
When your swelling doesn’t subside in less than seven days, you should visit your doctor to get it checked. If you’re experiencing severe headaches or leg pain, it could point out to a whole other problem. In most cases, this issue is only high blood pressure.
The possibility of blood clots developing is also high when you experience severe pain in your feet. So it’s best to contact your doctor and get the problem checked immediately.
Sign Of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
Remedies to Reduce Swelling in the Feet After Pregnancy
Making sure that you have a balanced diet with proteins is one of the best remedies when it comes to swollen feet. Including items such as pulses, poultry, beans, eggs, and meat is an excellent way to add some proteins to your daily meals. Vegetables and fruits also need to be included in your daily diet.
What needs to be excluded is excessive sugar, salt, and fat. It is also advisable to avoid eating pre-packaged or processed food. These kinds of items have a high content of salt and additives that heighten fluid retention. (Managing gestational diabetes during pregnancy)
When you have swollen feet during pregnancy, it’s important to keep your blood circulation healthy. So that means eating more garlic and onion.
And as far as vitamins are concerned, the best options for you are vitamins E and C. The latter is abundantly found in citrus fruits, potatoes, broccoli, strawberries, cabbage, tomatoes, and melon. While the former is found in foods like almonds, sweet corn, soy, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ.
Drink More Water
Really? How does that make sense? Drinking plenty of water helps in processing fluids in the kidneys. It also helps in promoting healthy kidney function. The number of times you pee may considerably increase especially if you’re also consuming diuretic foods. These are celery, citrus fruits, parsley, apples, or watercress.
Improve Blood Circulation
There’s a reason why doctors ask you to rest after giving birth to a child. Sitting down for an adequate amount of time tends to improve blood circulation in the legs. And this helps in reducing the swelling in your feet.
Even if you’re not sitting enough, then make sure that you keep shifting your body weight from one foot to the other while standing. Don’t make it a habit of crossing the legs while in a seated position. There’s nothing worse than crossing your legs to block blood circulation in that region.
And do you know what the best way is to drain your legs from all the excessive fluids? Lie down on your back and lift your feet over the hips. Then place your feet on a tall chair or a stool. This will promote the drainage of fluids from your swollen ankles after childbirth. (Best yoga poses to improve blood circulation)
Use Cabbage Leaves
You can use green or white cabbage leaves to reduce pain and discomfort in your swollen feet. Before using them, you just need to wipe them clean. There’s no reason to wash the cabbage leaves. After wiping them, place them in the fridge for some time.
Then wrap them around the swollen parts of your feet and create a compression. Wait for the leaves to moisten up and then you can replace them with a fresh batch until the pain and discomfort reduce.
Is it Normal for Me to Swell After Delivering a Baby?
That’s About It!
Swelling of the body is a common condition when you’re pregnant. The feet, legs, ankles, and hands often swell during pregnancy. You already know that, right? But what many of us don’t know is that this swelling continues to be a part of our body even after childbirth.
Swollen feet after pregnancy is your body’s natural response. But such effects of birth don’t last for more than 7-10 days. If your condition doesn’t seem to subside after these many days, it’s best to seek medical assistance.
I hope you found the article interesting and informative. I tried my level best to state facts and real life events with you here. Do you have anything else about pregnancy and postpartum that you would like to share with us?
Please feel free to leave all your comments in the section below.
You might also like: