Young Parents Team
My shoes feel tight and my legs are heavy. What’s happening?
Your growing baby is putting extra pressure on the major veins and slowing down circulation, explains Dr Christopher Ng, obstetrician and gynaecologist at GynaeMD Women’s & Rejuvenation Clinic.
Fluid from these veins then finds its way into the tissues of your lower legs. With all the excess water pooling there, it’s no wonder they look like sausages.
How can I ease the discomfort?
Puffy feet and aching legs are common during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester.
About three out of four mums-to-be experience this condition, which is also known as oedma. Fortunately, the swelling often subsides quickly after delivery.
Meanwhile, get relief with these tricks, Dr Ng suggests.
– Prop up your legs as much as you can when sitting or lying down.
– Improve circulation with ankle-rotation exercises or walking.
– Cut down on salt; it’s known to encourage water retention.
– Drink at least eight cups, or two litres, of water a day. Dehydration worsens swelling.
– Wear comfortable shoes with good heel support, like those from Clarks and Scholl.
– Wear support stockings to reduce fluid collection in the legs and ankles.
What are the symptoms that it’s something serious?
Although swelling is not a huge concern, consult your gynaecologist if you notice sudden severe swelling, along with headaches, blurred vision and rapid weight gain.
These can be signs of pre-eclampsia, a serious condition that involves your blood pressure, Dr Ng says.
In some cases, mums-to-be will find that only one foot is puffy, and there is pain, redness and warmth over the swelling. This may be due to a blood clot.
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