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Swollen Feet, Ankles, and Hands (Edema) During Pregnancy

Written and reviewed by
Dr. K.S Jeyarani Kamaraj 88% (1165 ratings)
MBBS, DGO -Gynecology & Obstetrics, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Chennai  •  25 years experience
Swollen Feet, Ankles, and Hands (Edema) During Pregnancy

Ankles, feet and fingers often swell a little in pregnancy as your body is holding more water than usual.

Towards the end of the day, the extra water tends to gather in the lowest parts of the body, especially if the weather is hot or if you have been standing a lot. The gradual swelling isn't harmful to you or your baby, but it can be uncomfortable.

Avoiding and Easing Swollen ankles:

Try to:

  • Avoid standing for long periods
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Do the foot exercises

Foot Exercises During Pregnancy:

You can do foot exercises sitting or standing. They improve blood circulation, reduce swelling in the ankles, and prevent cramp in the calf muscles:

  1. Bend and stretch your foot up and down 30 times

  2. Rotate your foot in a circle eight times one way and eight times the other way

  3. Repeat with the other foot

When swelling can be serious:

You should seek medical attention immediately if your face, feet or hands swell up suddenly. A pregnancy condition called pre-eclampsia can cause sudden swelling, although most women with swelling don't have pre-ecplampsia.

If it happens to you, consult a gynaecologist, or hospital immediately. If you do have pre-eclampsia, you'll need to be monitored carefully, as the condition can be serious for both you and your baby.

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