Edema or swollen feet is completely normal during pregnancy. It is the surging pregnancy hormones, and an increase in body fluid that results in swollen feet during pregnancy. While swollen feet may or may not be painful, they can certainly be uncomfortable or bothersome. Fortunately, there are a lot of natural home remedies for swollen feet during pregnancy.
15 Home Remedies For Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
You can effectively deal with swollen feet during pregnancy using home remedies. All you have to do is make some small changes in lifestyle and foods to reduce swelling during pregnancy. Here are 15 home remedies for swollen feet during pregnancy:
1. Eat potassium rich foods for swollen feet during pregnancy
Potassium is a vital mineral when it comes to fluid retention. This mineral helps to maintain the salt and water ratio in your body. Potassium helps to reduce water retention in two ways. First, by bringing down the sodium levels and secondly by increasing urine production.
Inadequate intake of potassium triggers/ aggravates the issue of swollen feet. The prenatal vitamin prescribed by the doctor usually provides potassium. Even then, as the pregnancy progress, it is important to focus on potassium-rich food.
Here are some foods that are naturally high in potassium to include in your pregnancy diet:
Banana, avocados, prune juice, celery, lentils, carrot, potatoes and sweet potatoes with skins, spinach, lentils, fruits like pomegranate, kiwi, orange, figs, and passion fruit, sun-dried tomatoes, yoghurt, salmon, etc
Drinking parsley tea twice every day helps to increase blood circulation and reduce swelling in the feet. To make this tea, simply infuse two teaspoons of parsley in one cup of water.
Related Reading: What Teas Are Safe To Drink While Pregnant?
2. Add magnesium to your diet
Magnesium is another key mineral that helps to reduce swollen feet during pregnancy by maintaining electrolytic balance. Magnesium deficiency can thus lead to fluid retention and swollen feet during pregnancy.
Therefore, an optimum intake of magnesium helps to alleviate swollen feet during pregnancy. For this, focus on magnesium-rich foods such as dark leafy greens, nuts like almonds, and cashews, vegetables like broccoli, and food like tofu.
3. Cabbage leaves for swollen feet during pregnancy
For ages, cabbage leaves wraps are effectively used to treat inflammation. Cabbage leaves wrap absorb extra fluids from the feet. The same property of the cabbage leaves makes it one of the best natural remedies for swollen feet during pregnancy.
You can make cabbage leaves wrap by simply spreading a few fresh cabbage leaves on the swollen feet. Make sure the swollen part is well covered. Now wrap the area along with cabbage leaves with a soft cotton cloth. You can observe the swelling starts to reduce soon.
4. Eat coriander seeds
Coriander seeds are a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, copper and zinc. It also hoards vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin b complex. All these constituents are very beneficial during pregnancy.
Moreover, being rich in potassium and magnesium, the intake of coriander seeds is one of the effective home remedies for swollen feet during pregnancy.
To make coriander seed tea, soak two to three tablespoons of coriander seeds in some water. After some time, boil these seeds in two cups of water. Simmer till the water is decreased to half quantity.
Consume this water along with the seeds, preferably in an empty stomach in water. Consumption of coriander seeds helps to prevent the accumulation of fluids and reduce swelling.
5. Apply apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. You can add it to your diet as its high potassium content helps to reduce the accumulation of fluid in the feet during pregnancy. Similarly, applying apple cider vinegar on the swollen parts of the feet frequently helps the swelling to subside fast.
You can also add apple cider vinegar into a basin of warm water during a foot bath. Soak your feet until the ankles are fully in water. Keep them soaked in until your feet are fully relaxed. Never wipe your feet; instead, dry the feet in the air.
6. Contrast bath therapy
This is a form of water/ hydrotherapy. As the name implies, this therapy is performed by immersing the swollen feet in a tub of hot water and cold water alternatively. Many women make use of hot or cold water for swollen feet during pregnancy
You can immerse the feet in a hot water tub for five to ten minutes. The water should be hot enough and tolerable. After ten minutes, quickly immerse the feet in a tub of cold water.
Let the feet remain in cold water for another five to ten minutes. After that, switch back to hot water and immerse the feet for 5 minutes. Do this a few times a day.
The contrast in temperatures of this bath therapy helps in dilating (while in a hot water tub) and contracting the blood vessels (while in the cold water tub. This, in turn, improves blood circulation. Improved blood circulation reduces and prevents fluid accumulation in the feet and ankles.
7. Drink plenty of lemon water
Drinking plenty of lemon water every day helps to prevent swollen feet during pregnancy. Lemon water helps to flush out excess fluid and toxins present in the body. As the excess fluids are flushed out, the risk of swollen feet decreases.
8. Make use of cucumber for swollen feet during pregnancy
Cucumber is an incredible vegetable that helps to relieve swollen feet. You can munch on this refreshing vegetable any time you feel like it. 90% of this vegetable is water, and increased water intake helps to fight water retention. It is also well known for its anti-inflammatory property.
Related Reading: 18 Home Remedies For Constipation During Pregnancy
Moreover, you can use cucumber in a couple of other ways to ease the swollen feet. You can cut it to thin slices and place it over the swelling. Now, lightly wrap cloth or bandage over it to keep them in place. You can also apply cucumber juice directly to the swollen feet.
9. Epsom salt foot soak
Epsom salt is rich in magnesium sulfate. This compound, if dissolved in water, gets absorbed into the body through the skin. It helps to relieve pain, reduce swelling and improve the blood flow in that particular area.
Foot soak in Epsom salt solution is practised for centuries to reduce all sorts of swellings and to relieve all types of pains. This is one of the most followed home remedies for swollen feet during pregnancy as well.
You can buy it online, and it is commonly available in drug stores as well. To a tub of hot water (enough for the feet to immerse fully, covering the ankle), add half a cup of Epsom salt. Soak the feet in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
You can see the swelling subsiding after some time. If you experience ache in your feet (which is quite common during the third trimester due to increased weight), Epsom salt foot soak will help relieve that too.
10. Applying cinnamon, olive oil, and lemon paste
Lemon, cinnamon and olive oil are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Overnight application of this paste on the feet helps to soothe the pain and swelling of the swollen feet during pregnancy.
Make a paste with ground cinnamon, milk, lemon and olive oil. Apply this paste liberally over the swelling. Leave it overnight. You can see a marked change in the morning.
Related Reading: Household Work During Pregnancy – What Do And What To Avoid
11. Foot massage
It is a well-known fact that massage helps to improve blood circulation and relax muscle tension. Massaging the feet helps to move the accumulated fluid and thus reduces the swelling. You can ask your partner to massage your foot gently, or you can get a self-massage. Either way, use a firm pressure rather than hard massaging.
Likewise, you can improve the result by using mustard oil for foot massage. Mustard oil is well known for its heat-generating property and hence improves blood circulation and relaxes the swollen part to a great extend.
12. Wear compression socks
Wearing compression socks throughout the pregnancy helps to prevent the accumulation of body fluids in the feet. However, if you already have moderate to severe swelling in your feet, it is important to seek advice on wearing compression socks. In this case, the doctor might prescribe Compression stockings with higher levels of compression.
Note: Most of the pharmacies will not hand out higher-level compression wear without a prescription.
13. Drink plenty of water
While it may sound counterintuitive, drinking plenty of water helps to fight off or prevent fluid retention. This is owing to the fact that if the body isn’t adequately hydrated, the body tries to pull too much water back into its cells. This contributes to swelling.
14. Baking soda and rice water
Mixing these two ingredients and using them on your feet can reduce swelling almost immediately. There are two ways you can do this.
In the first method, you have to mix the baking soda and rice water and then fill a bucket with the mixture. You can then submerge your feet in them to reduce swelling.
In the second method, you can instead make it into the texture and consistency of paste. You can apply it on your feet for about 15-20 minutes.
The baking soda will reduce the inflammation and the pain, while the rice water absorbs the fluid accumulation. The mixture also stimulates blood circulation. Thus, it is a pretty great relief for swollen feet.
15. Elevate your legs above heart level
Swelling is usually caused by an accumulation of fluid. So, if you have a problem with your feet frequently swelling, you need to find a way to ensure that all the blood and fluid returns to your heart.
So, around three or four times a day, you can elevate your feet to above your heart level for about 20 minutes at a time. You can do this by propping your feet u against the wall or resting it on a stool or cushion.
Most of the time, swollen feet are nothing to worry about. In fact, for most women, it is a normal, almost expected part of pregnancy. However, it can also cause a lot of pain and inconvenience for an expecting woman.
Following the above remedies, as well as making a few changes to your lifestyle, can pretty much eliminate the chance of swelling in your feet. These changes include reducing your caffeine intake, lightly exercising for 30 minutes a day, and reducing your intake of salt.
If your feet swell suddenly or swell more than normal, it would be wise to consult a doctor. As long as you keep these guidelines in mind, you can have a happy pregnancy and swelling-free feet!