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Reviewed by

Dr. Anandita

Consultant - Obstetrics And Gynaecology

Manipal Hospitals, Patiala

Understanding the Reasons For Swollen Feet, Ankles And Fingers In Pregnancy

Reviewed by:

Dr. Anandita

Posted On: May 08, 2024

blogs read 4 Min Read

Reasons for Swollen Feet, Ankles and Fingers in Pregnancy

Swollen feet, ankles, and fingers are a common occurrence during pregnancy, especially in the later trimesters. While some swelling is perfectly normal, it's important to understand the causes, how to manage it, and when to seek medical attention. This blog sheds light on swelling during pregnancy, offering tips for relief and guidance on when to consult a gynaecologist in Patiala for medical attention.


Why Do Feet, Ankles, and Fingers Swell During Pregnancy?

Several factors contribute to swelling during pregnancy. Here are some major reasons for swollen feet.

  1. Increased Blood Volume: Your body produces extra blood to support the growing baby. This additional fluid can put pressure on your veins, leading to swelling in the extremities.

  2. Hormonal Changes: Pregnancy hormones like progesterone can cause your body to retain more fluids, contributing to swelling.

  3. Lymphatic System Strain: The lymphatic system, responsible for draining fluids, can become overwhelmed during pregnancy, leading to fluid buildup in the tissues.

  4. Increased Pressure on Veins: The growing uterus puts pressure on the major vein returning blood from your lower body to your heart, hindering circulation and causing fluid to pool in your legs and ankles.

Swelling During Pregnancy: Normal vs. Concerning

Most swelling during pregnancy is gradual and tends to worsen later in the day, especially after prolonged standing or sitting. Here's how to differentiate normal swelling from potentially concerning symptoms:

Normal Swelling

  • Gradual onset, typically worse later in the day or after prolonged standing/sitting

  • Affects both sides of the body equally

  • No redness, tenderness, or pain

  • Disappears overnight with elevation

Concerning Symptoms:

  • Sudden or rapid onset of swelling

  • Swelling only in one leg or foot

  • Swelling accompanied by redness, warmth, or tenderness

  • Severe headache

  • Vision changes

  • Persistent swelling that doesn't improve with elevation

Consult our OBG hospital in Patiala if you are experiencing the above symptoms and need treatment for feet swelling during pregnancy.

Tips to Reduce Swelling During Pregnancy

While you can't completely prevent feet swelling during pregnancy, here are some strategies to minimize it:

  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excessive weight gain can worsen swelling.

  2. Eat a Balanced Diet: Limit your sodium intake, as salt can contribute to fluid retention.

  3. Drink Plenty of Water: Hydration is crucial, but avoid sugary drinks.

  4. Wear Supportive Shoes: Opt for comfortable, well-fitting shoes with good arch support.

  5. Elevate Your Feet: Prop your feet up above your heart level whenever possible, especially at the end of the day.

  6. Exercise Regularly: Regular physical activity, like walking or swimming, can improve circulation and reduce swelling.

  7. Avoid Tight Clothing: Wear loose-fitting clothing that doesn't constrict your circulation.

  8. Support Stockings: Compression stockings can help reduce swelling, especially in the legs. Talk to our expert gynaecologist in Patiala before using them.

  9. Get Enough Sleep: Getting adequate rest can help minimize swelling.

  10. Try Relaxation Techniques: Practices like yoga or meditation can help manage stress and potentially reduce swelling.

Consult a gynaecologist in Patiala if you need more tips on reducing swelling in pregnancy.

When to Consult our Renowned Gynaecologist in Patiala

If you experience any of the following, book an appointment with us immediately:

  • Sudden or severe swelling

  • Swelling accompanied by redness, warmth, or tenderness

  • Severe headache

  • Vision changes

  • Persistent swelling that doesn't improve with elevation

What one needs to remember is that every pregnancy is different and it's possible that you might not notice any swelling or severe swelling during this period. A skilled gynaecologist is the right person who can tell you whether the swelling is normal or concerning. They can also guide you about the methods to prevent and manage them and may also suggest any medication if deemed fit. It is highly recommended to not take any decision on your own and consume any over-the-counter medicine to reduce the swelling as it may cause adverse effects on the body. Always consult the experts in case of doubts. We also invite you to bookmark our blog page to read the latest healthcare blogs shared by our doctors. 

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