Swollen ankles and lower legs are one of the many bothersome symptoms that seem to pop up out of nowhere when you're pregnant. Increased blood volume, combined with extra weight being supported by your ankles, can cause fluid to pool in these tissues. Taking water pills to get rid of the extra fluid is not prudent or safe for you or the baby, but thankfully, there are some safe, natural ways to deal with lower-leg swelling during pregnancy.
Massaging your lower legs can help increase circulation, which will ensure that fluid is absorbed back into your bloodstream where it ultimately belongs. While rubbing your own legs or having your partner do so is one option, you'll enjoy even greater benefit from a therapeutic massage. A trained massage therapist will know just what areas to rub and what direction to rub them in order to encourage the fluid back into your tissues. While you can choose to have just a lower-leg massage, you may also want to treat yourself with a full-body massage. Your pregnancy aches and pains will melt away, making it easier for you to stay active. This, in turn, will help prevent your legs from swelling back up.
Epsom Salt Baths
Epsom salts are truly wonderful at alleviating swelling and inflammation. All they are is salts of magnesium and sulfate ions, so you can feel safe about using them during pregnancy. Just fill a deep bucket with warm water and some Epsom salts, and let your ankles rest in the bucket while you watch some TV or catch up on your email. Try to get up and do some walking around after your soak. This will get the blood pumping and further help reduce inflammation.
Stop feeling guilty about sitting down and taking a break. It really is good for your swollen lower legs — as long as you elevate your feet while you're sitting. Sit with your feet propped up on a stool so that your feet are higher than your waist. This will encourage fluid to drain out of your feet and back up towards your trunk, where it can be re-introduced for circulation. Sit with your feet up whenever you're relaxing and watching TV. Try sleeping with your feet elevated on a pillow, too.
If you continue to have problems with lower-leg swelling, talk to your natural health care practitioner. For more information, contact local professionals like Bakke Chiropractic Clinic SC.