Swollen feet or edema in the legs during pregnancy are often experienced by most pregnant women. Swelling can appear at any time, but this complaint is usually more common during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Swelling can also appear in other parts of the body, such as the face, hands, fingers, and breasts.
Factors that cause swollen feet during pregnancy
Swollen legs during pregnancy can occur naturally because the body of pregnant women produces more blood and body fluids to meet the nutritional needs of the fetus.
In addition, there are several other factors that can also make pregnant women experience swelling in the legs during pregnancy, namely:
- Hormonal changes
- The habit of standing too long
- Excessive activity or exercise
- Hot weather
- Diet low in potassium and high in salt or sodium
- High levels of caffeine consumption
Although normal, swelling during pregnancy that occurs suddenly and is severe, especially if accompanied by other complaints, can be a sign of a more serious pregnancy disorder, including preeclampsia.
In addition to causing swollen legs, preeclampsia can also cause pregnant women to experience headaches that do not improve, blurred vision, upper abdominal pain, shortness of breath, and nausea and vomiting. This condition can also cause high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Not only preeclampsia, swollen feet during pregnancy can sometimes also be caused by certain diseases or medical conditions, such as:
- Varicose veins
- Blood clotting
- Kidney illness
- Heart failure
- Liver disfunction
- Thyroid disease
Various Ways to Overcome Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
Swelling of the legs often makes pregnant women feel uncomfortable and difficult to move. To overcome this, there are several ways that pregnant women can do easily, namely:
- Support your feet with pillows when sitting or sleeping to improve blood circulation.
- Sleep in a lying position on your left side.
- Exercise regularly, such as swimming or walking.
- Avoid sitting or standing for too long.
- Avoid strenuous physical activity.
- Wear comfortable shoes when traveling and avoid wearing high heels during pregnancy.
- Drink enough water, which is about 2 liters or 8 glasses of drinking water per day.
- Eat foods high in potassium, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, spinach, beans, and yogurt.
- Limit consumption of caffeinated drinks.
- Reduce the use of salt in cooking.
If the various ways to deal with swollen feet during pregnancy above do not work to overcome the complaints that pregnant women feel, you should consult a doctor for an examination. This is important so that the doctor can determine whether the swollen feet experienced are caused by certain diseases or medical conditions.