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Every pregnancy is a great happiness, but not always for the legs and feet. When you become pregnant, the amount of fluid in the body increases and the increased fluid in the body puts an increased load on the legs, which then swell up easily. A good way to relieve your discomfort is to use support stockings when you are pregnant. It is important to take off your socks immediately in the morning before you swell. Then you keep your legs fitter all day!

Edema, fluid retention in pregnancy

When you are pregnant, the amount of fluid in your body increases and you often gain weight. The increased amount of fluid in the body's tissues can make it tight around blood vessels and nerves.

Fluid accumulation in the body, or so-called oedema, can settle in the legs, feet, ankles and hands and is a common symptom during pregnancy. You experience swelling and immobility, it can be tight and sore in the most exposed places. The shoes are difficult to put on and it can feel uncomfortable. The swelling usually appears in week 22 - 27 and lasts throughout the pregnancy.

Reduce swelling with support socks

The heavier you get, the greater the risk of swollen feet. To reduce the swelling, it is good if you who are pregnant put on support socks immediately when you wake up in the morning.

The socks have a graded compression, i.e. the compression is greater around the ankle and lower around the calf. The decreasing pressure helps the oxygen-poor blood in the legs to be transported up to the heart and to be oxygenated by the lungs. The fluid in the tissues is pushed back into the bloodstream.

Elevating your legs whenever possible prevents swelling. Sleeping with your legs on a pillow also relieves the discomfort.

5 simple tips on how to counteract swollen feet when pregnant

  1. Be like Pippi Longstocking - sleep with your feet on the pillow
  2. Put on support socks immediately in the morning before legs and feet swell.
  3. Cool feet in cold water. The water pressure is higher than the air pressure and pushes the fluid in the tissues back to the veins.
  4. Loose fitting clothes. Make sure no elastics or cuffs are tight and prevent blood flow.
  5. Don't sit with your legs crossed, and move around regularly to get the blood circulating.



Maternity practice: the pregnancy week by week

Leni Söderberg

Care guide 1177

Gunilla Larsson, midwife Karlstad, 2013-02-19


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