Hey mommas! Lets learn about swelling!
Who has experienced swelling during pregnancy?
A lot of moms I treat have swelling, most commonly in the ankles. Some swelling with pregnancy is expected due to increase fluids and hormones prepping the body for labor. One of these hormones is relaxin, this helps "relax" all the ligements prepping for birth. There are 26 bones the in foot and 33 joints, meaning 33 joints that are loosing. There is also 3 arches in your foot maintained by the integrity of the joints. So as these joints loosen, so do the arches causing the foot to flatten and appear to "grow". When the integrity of your arch is compromised it can cause pain. Remembering to wear proper footwear with good support can be helpful and also taping the arch can provide extra support.
There are also a few ways to manage edema. The common recommendation of RICE- Rest, Ice, Elevate and Compress, although resent studies show compression is no longer recommend due to immobilization of the joints causing more degenerative changes. Also kinesiotaping can be extremely helpful. There is a specific application that lifts the skin off the fascia and allows for increase blood flow. Massage and muscle work to the feet can also be helpful to move blood flow. Also dont forget to stay hydrated!
But there are a few red flags to be aware of that could signify an underlying issue. If you notice more swelling in one leg more than the other, if you notice redness and heat- this could mean there is a blood clot. If you have a headache that won't go away, or visual disturbances- this could signify preeclampsia. You know your body best and if you feel anything that is off or not right then its best to contact your primary health care provider.
But dont worry mommas those ankles will come out go hiding once that baby is born!
What got you through the swelling?