Pregnancy & Swollen Feet: Care, Prevention & Warning Signs
Milwaukee Podiatrists Treat Foot & Ankle Swelling in Pregnant Patients
Pregnant women need to pay extra attention to foot health during and after pregnancy. Expectant mothers often experience swelling in the feet and ankles known as peripheral edema. Pregnancy can worsen existing foot conditions and cause inflammation or irritation. In some cases it can signal a serious problem.
Milwaukee’s best foot doctors for pregnancy-related foot problems help prevent and treat swelling or pain in the feet and ankles for a more comfortable nine months.
Why Feet & Ankles Swell Up during Pregnancy
Swollen ankles and feet are common during pregnancy due to elevated hormone levels which make your body retain water. The extra fluid is necessary to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your growing baby, but it can also cause swelling, especially in the feet, ankles and lower legs.
Your lower extremities tend to experience more swelling because of the additional weight and pressure on the veins carrying blood from your lower body back your heart. Reduced blood flow means more fluid accumulating in the feet and ankles.
On top of everything, the blood vessels in your feet and ankles are small, making it difficult for the body to deal with the extra volume of fluid.
When Swelling during Pregnancy Requires Medical Attention
Typical swelling during pregnancy is slow and steady, but if you experience sudden swelling it could be preeclampsia and you should consult a doctor right away.
Swollen feet can also be an indication of heart disease or kidney failure. If you have any concerns about the swelling in your feet, an experienced podiatrist can answer your questions and recommend a course of action.
Warning Sign: Swelling in Just One Foot
If just one of your feet or legs is swollen, or if one foot is more swollen than the other, it could be a sign of a blood clot or other vascular problem. Swelling in one foot only requires prompt medical evaluation. Other warning signs of a blood clot include:
- Foot pain when flexing or extending the foot
- Redness, red streaks, or a purplish color
- Weakness in skin or a lingering indentation after pressing on the swollen region
Swelling localized to only one foot or ankle can also result from a sprained ankle or injured foot, which can happen more easily as pregnancy weight gain shifts your center of gravity, affecting balance and gait. Consult an experienced podiatrist for fast pain relief and lasting results following any foot or ankle injury.
How to Ease Swelling in Feet & Ankles during Pregnancy
Ideally beginning early in the pregnancy, get regular exercise (which promotes circulation) and daily periods of rest with your feet propped up. This can prevent many pregnancy-related foot and ankle problems from arising, and help reduce swelling. Pregnant women should also avoid sitting for long periods of time, such as driving or air travel.
More remedies for relief from swollen feet and ankles include:
- Stay hydrated to prevent water retention
- Wear quality footwear with plenty of support to promote good circulation; never cram swollen feet into uncomfortable shoes, and avoid walking barefoot
- Foot massage aids circulation and can help reduce swelling
Milwaukee’s Best Surgical Podiatry Clinic Cares for Feet & Ankles during Pregnancy
Pregnancy can have a significant effect on women’s foot and ankle health, sometimes permanently. The foot doctors at Advanced Foot & Ankle of Wisconsin can help prevent and treat foot and ankle problems throughout your pregnancy.
Don’t let foot and ankle pain add complications to your life at this critical time. We’ll help you take care of your feet to make your pregnancy as comfortable as possible.