7. Swollen Hands and Feet
Ankles, feet and hands often swell a little during pregnancy. Additional production of blood and fluid in the body to support the unborn baby can cause the extremities to swell.
This type of swelling isn’t harmful to you or your baby, but it can be uncomfortable and your shoes can feel tight. Swelling usually occurs around the fifth month and lasts through the third trimester.
- Avoid standing or sitting for long periods.
- Light exercises like walking can help control swelling.
- Wear comfortable shoes and avoid any footwear with tight straps.
- Keep your feet elevated whenever possible.
- While sleeping, use extra pillows to raise your feet higher than your heart.
- Keep an eye on your sodium intake, which can cause even more fluid retention.
- Eat foods high in potassium like bananas.
- Using cold compresses and drinking plenty of water can also help.
Leg cramps or painful spasms are a common problem during pregnancy. These cramps, especially in the calves, occur mainly during the second and third trimesters and usually at night.
The painful cramps may be caused by increased body weight or compression of the blood vessels. It also may be due to low calcium and magnesium levels during pregnancy.
- To prevent cramps in your calves at night, stretch your calf muscles before you go to bed.
- Regular, gentle exercise that involves ankle and leg movements will improve your circulation and may help prevent cramping.
- When having a cramp, try to keep your leg straight and pull your toes back toward your knee. This will stretch your calf muscle and reduce the pain.
- When the pain eases, you can massage the area gently with some warm oil.
- You can also place a hot water bottle or heat pack on the area.
- Be sure to eat foods rich in magnesium and calcium. Also, eating a banana before bed can help prevent leg cramps.
- Put pillows under your legs while sleeping.