Having swollen feet and ankles during pregnancy is normal, and may start to swell at around 6 months of gestation, becoming more intense and uncomfortable especially at the end of pregnancy, when the baby’s weight is greater and there is greater retention of liquid.
To avoid this situation, it is advisable to adopt some precautions, such as drinking plenty of water, elevating the legs, wearing compression stockings on the legs, increasing the consumption of diuretic foods, which help to eliminate accumulated body water, such as watermelon, cucumber and celery . In addition, natural juices made with diuretic fruits can be made and it is important to reduce the consumption of salt, fried foods and processed foods, as these contribute to the increase in body swelling.
Some tips that can help relieve swelling in your ankles during pregnancy are:
- Drink 2 to 3 liters of water per day , as being well hydrated reduces fluid retention;
- Prefer to lie on your left side when going to sleep, to facilitate the return of blood to the heart;
- Support your feet on a stool when the pregnant woman is sitting. Other options include using a stack of newspapers, magazines or books, so that your feet are at the same height as your thighs;
- Place your feet on top of one or two pillows , when lying down, to promote blood circulation;
- Avoid wearing tight shoes or high heels;
- Wear compression stockings , but only with the guidance of the obstetrician, to facilitate the return of blood from the legs to the heart;
- Practice walking , hydromassage or cycling for at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week, to improve circulation of the legs and feet;
- Avoid crossing your legs when sitting, as it makes it difficult for blood to return to the heart;
- Avoid standing for a long time , as it stimulates the accumulation of fluid in the feet;
- Eat diuretic foods like watermelon, cucumber or celery, for example, which are foods that help reduce fluid retention.
If the pregnant woman has a job or performs activities that require standing or sitting for a long time, it is important to use a support to raise the feet and remember to get up and walk a little, at least every 60 minutes.
In addition, there is a technique known as a contrast bath, also called “heat shock”, which can also be used as a strategy to relieve swollen feet and ankles during pregnancy, or in anyone who has this problem.
What to eat to reduce swelling
To reduce swelling, it is important to increase your intake of diuretic foods, such as watercress, parsley, spinach, cucumber, beets, tomatoes, garlic, orange, passion fruit, watermelon, strawberry and lemon, for example. In addition, it is important to avoid consuming foods that encourage fluid retention, such as salt, sugar, packaged snacks, fried foods, olives, sausages and canned or frozen products.
In this way, a great recipe for juice that can help reduce swelling in the feet and ankle is as follows:
Diuretic Juice Recipe
This juice helps to reduce the accumulated liquid in the feet and ankles and you should drink 1 to 2 glasses a day.
- 1 medium slice of melon;
- 200 mL of coconut water;
- 1 tablespoon of chopped mint;
- 1 kale leaf.
Beat all the ingredients in a blender and then drink ice cream.
It is also important to remember that many teas with a diuretic effect are contraindicated during pregnancy, such as parsley and horsetail tea. See the full list of teas the pregnant woman cannot take .
When to go to the doctor
If the swelling is severe and affects, in addition to the legs and feet, the hands, arms and face, or if tingling symptoms, excessive weight gain, neck pain or difficulty in moving the fingers also appear, -see a doctor, as these signs may indicate the presence of some complication of pregnancy, such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia, which is a pregnancy complication characterized by changes in the development of placental blood vessels, which can decrease the amount of blood circulating in the woman’s body. Learn how to identify preeclampsia .