Swelling of the feet is a common problem among some pregnant women. It can occur anytime during the pregnancy but it more often occurs in the fifth month and causes great pain and inconvenience, thus making it difficult for the expectant mother to move around and do her daily chores. It becomes difficult for her to stand up for long hours. And of course, it is not possible for her to indulge much in any kind of physical activity.
It occurs due to increase or accumulation of fluids, called edema, in the woman's feet. The woman's blood increases due to blood needed for the child, thus resulting in slow blood circulation and causing swelling in the feet, hands and face. She is therefore advised to consume a lot of water so that fluids are constantly flushed out from the body.
She should take a well- balanced diet and try to maintain a disciplined lifestyle with regular walks and sufficient sleep. Consumption of excessive salty food like chips, fast food, caffeine, drugs and inadequate food causes disorders in the body resulting in swelling of feet and shins. Smoking and drinking should be avoided. Not only are all these preventive measures important to avoid the swelling of feet during pregnancy, but they are important for the healthy growth and development of the baby as well.
The pregnant woman should avoid going out in the heat as it would cause loss of fluids, thus resulting in imbalance of fluids in the body. While sitting, she should keep her feet up to avoid the fluids accumulating in the body. She should avoid standing for long hours and instead keep moving to help in the circulation of blood. Loose fitting shoes and clothes must be worn. A soft cushion should be placed under the feet while sleeping. A massage on the legs and feet gives relief. Yoga also provides relief to some women. The main aim is to make sure that the pregnant woman is getting adequate rest which ensures that her feet are not being stressed out, and that there is no accumulation of the fluids.
Squeezing one lemon in one glass of warm water during pregnancy, and consuming it helps ease the swelling. Another effective drink can be prepared at home by boiling 2 glasses of water with coriander seeds and letting it reduce to half the quantity after boiling. This drink is very effective if consumed 2-3 times a day.
Barley water is another effective drink. Buttermilk too is very good for digestion and thus helps in reducing swelling. Bitter gourd with a little lime juice added to it is known to check the blood circulation thus preventing swelling. Spinach is a food rich in Iron and vitamin E which again is good for pregnant women. Lecithin seeds and Sesame seeds are good for health. Vegetable seeds like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are also helpful in reducing swelling. Vitamins like potassium found in bananas, zinc and calcium should be consumed.