Swollen Ankles During Pregnancy

Pregnancy and discomfort usually go hand in hand; there is literally no woman who doesn’t experience one or more kinds of discomforts during pregnancy. However, around 50% women experience discomfort from moderate to severe swelling during pregnancy that may be localized (involving one tissue only) or generalized (involving the entire body).

Swelling is common in pregnancy, for some it can lasts through the entire duration of pregnancy while sometimes it comes in the second half of pregnancy. This article will illustrate causes of swelling during pregnancy, along with home remedies to ease swollen ankles at home and preventions of swollen ankles during pregnancy.

Causes of Swelling During Pregnancy

When you are in pregnancy, your body undergoes many hormonal changes that control the overall outcomes of pregnancy. The causes of swelling during pregnancy can be various. To begin with, fluid retention under the influence of hormonal activity can lead to swelling in general.

Besides, due to the expanded uterus and increased fluid content in the body, more pressure is put on the veins of your body, blocking the backflow of blood. In return, this contributes to swollen ankles. Changes of hormone also can be a factor leading to swollen ankles.

One thing you have to know is that, the retained fluid during pregnancy swelling assists to give the baby a more comfortable environment. However, swollen ankles in pregnancy will fade away when you finish the delivery.

The following video explains reasons for swelling while providing some effective home remedies:

Home Remedies for Swollen Ankles During Pregnancy


Home remedies



Put your feet up above your heart level

Pressure in your feet veins can be built up for long period standing. Hence, frequent rests quite help to ease swollen ankles. Place your feet on a support and above your heart level while sitting, assisting to ease pressure and prevent building up pressure.


Sleep on either side

 When sleeping on your back, pressure is exerted to central body; if you sleep on one side, it would take off all pressure and ease the return of blood to heart. Sleeping on your life side might be the best position, allowing smoother flow of blood toward the heart.


Wear supporting stockings

With the advice of your health provider, you may wear support stockings to ease swollen ankles in pregnancy. Support stockings can keep your body intact-shaped and distribute pressure equally on all parts of the skin.


Drink lots of water

It is essential to intake a lot of water, as it prevents many complications in pregnancy, especially those related to birth. It is recommended that two to three liters of water should be taken in every day. This practice also ensures a healthy amniotic sac that is essential for baby’s protection.


Perform exercise regularly

Regular exercise keeps your body moving and ensures a healthy flow of blood throughout the body. Exercise is also important in pregnancy as it helps in preventing muscle cramps, swelling and spasms. Women who exercise regularly are likely to have smoother birth than those who do not. Take exercising classes, walk and perform aerobic and yoga on regular basis.


Stand in a pool

Standing in pool helps in pressure release. You will notice that as soon as you immerse your body in water the pressure and pain subsides. The body can also seek a relief for abdominal cramps when soaking in the water, which helps a lot for mothers planning a delivery at home. Besides, the temperature helps dilate your blood vessels, making blood flow in high-pressure areas such as feet and ankles.


Cool your body

Cooling your body makes muscles relax and lightens your mood, which directly affects your blood pressure. In turn, blood flow facilitates releasing pressure from ankles and feet.


Do some massage


Specific pressure points on feet can be triggered in massage to relieve muscles and adjust blood pressure. Regular massage prevents swollen ankles or feet by lightening the muscles in these parts. In addition, any kind of swollen ankles can be prevented when gradual force is applied.


The following video explains how to deal with swelling during pregnancy:

Ways to Prevent Swollen Ankles During Pregnancy

  • Avoid Sitting for Long Hours

Siting for long hours can build up pressure in your feet and may lead to swelling. In addition, muscle cramps and numbing of feet can also occur. It is advised to walk around after every half an hour to prevent blood accumulation around your feet and help blood flow under normal pressure.

  • Decrease the Salt Content

Solutes in diet increase pressure of fluid that enhances the chances of swollen ankles and obstruct easy blood flow.

  • Do Not Smoke Cigarettes

It is not only harmful during pregnancy for its harmful carcinogens but also because tobacco can elevate blood pressure and elevate body temperature, both these factors are bad for swollen ankles.

  • Eat Some Helpful Foods

Eat some helpful foods can help to naturally increase urine output, such foods include watermelon, cabbage and citrus fruits (i.e. lemons, oranges and pepper). Vitamin E also assists to ease swollen ankles because of its anti-oxidant properties.

The following video shows preventive measures for swollen ankles during pregnancy:

When Is Swelling Serious?

If you notice swelling of face and hands along with your feet and ankles, contact your mid-wife or doctor immediately! This could be a sign of ‘pre-eclampsia’, a condition with sudden increase of blood pressure and may lead to organ damage.

If you feel pain in your lower abdomen or ribs, or you experience severe and persistent headache coupled with blurry vision, you must approach your doctor because these symptoms usually enhance pre-eclampsia. It is extremely important to diagnose this condition at the right time to prevent kidney and vessel damages.