Pain and swelling in the feet, ankles and legs during pregnancy can make a woman miserable. Depending on the severity, it can affect a pregnant woman's quality of life in a significant way, affecting everything from home life to work life. Here are some tips you can follow to help relieve some of the very common but very uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy.
Ask your doctor for a prescription for compression socks. Compression socks are made to keep excess fluid out of your feet and ankles. They are available in varying levels of compression. Some offer a very light compression that feels like a tight sock. Others are very firm and tight and are difficult to remove and put on. Compression socks are available over the counter and with a prescription from your doctor.
Keep feet elevated above the level of the heart during rest. This will help keep excess fluids out of your lower legs, feet and ankles.
Wear orthopedic shoes to relieve and prevent foot pain. Swollen feet can become painful feet. Try to prevent the swelling in the first place; if some swelling does occur, wear orthopedic, well-padded shoes. Wearing tight, uncomfortable shoes made for fashion will make foot swelling and pain worse.
Take frequent breaks during the day and sit down. As your pregnancy progresses, look for opportunities to get things done while seated. This may mean working less or working in the beginning of the day before swelling occurs. Swelling can be less severe in the morning because you've been lying down all night. If there's something that must be done, try to get it done at the beginning of the day so as not to exacerbate the problem.
Avoid salty foods and increase water intake. Increasing water intake doesn't have to only include water. Other drinks have water in them but be careful to avoid drinks with caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic that works against keeping your body hydrated. The color of your urine is a good indicator for whether you're hydrated enough. Your urine should be as clear as possible. If it isn't, drink more non-caffeinated fluids.
Go shoe shopping toward the end of your pregnancy. Since it may not be possible to completely reduce the swelling in your feet, the best solution may be to wear bigger shoes. If you find that it's hard to get your shoes on and off, consider having your feet measured for a few pair of new, bigger shoes.