Why Edema Happens During Pregnancy
Several things are inevitable during pregnancy: weight gain, a growing belly, and some degree of swelling. Pregnancy causes many changes through a woman’s body. After all, a lot has to happen to sustain a growing baby. Unfortunately, some of those changes, like swelling feet and ankles, can be uncomfortable and make wearing shoes or otherwise being up on your feet uncomfortable. So why does your bundle of joy come with uncomfortable lower limb edema and foot pain?
With pregnancy, your body produces much more fluid than normal to help support your developing baby. This extra blood and other fluid circulates through your body with everything else. It helps “soften” your body’s tissues so they can adjust for your developing baby or prepare for labor. However, gravity is a pretty powerful force. Often it causes this excess fluid to settle in your legs, feet, and ankles. The added body weight from your bundle of joy exacerbates this.
This creates the uncomfortable lower limb edema. The extra fluid collecting in your limbs can make it difficult to wear some shoes and painful to be up on your feet for too long. The swelling is particularly common later in your pregnancy, in the third trimester, though it can develop at any point. As long as it doesn’t develop very suddenly—a sign of complications like preeclampsia—it’s normal and can be treated using basic, conservative methods.
Generally propping up your legs, wearing compression stockings, and icing your feet can help decrease swelling. Just remember that you don’t have to settle for foot pain during your pregnancy. You can get help for your lower limb edema and any other foot issues. Our team at Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper is here to help you through every step of your pregnancy. If you have any questions, or you’d like to schedule a consultation, contact our office in Jasper, IN, through our website or by calling (812) 481-7200. Pregnancy may cause changes, but you shouldn’t lose your mobility to foot pain as a result.