19 Mar 80% of Females Experience Swollen Ankles While Pregnant
Pregnancy is a time of an enormous amount of physical changes for both the developing baby as well as the soon to be mother. The normal hormonal changes that occur affect many aspects of the body including the walls of her veins causing them to relax or dilate. In addition, total blood volume also increases in the first trimester and gradually rises with gestation (up to 45% greater).
Veins contain valves (similar to those in the heart) which encourage blood to flow from the legs back to the heart. With the relaxation of the veins, the valves are unable to close properly and blood begins to flow back towards the feet.
The above challenges involving increased blood volume and lack of proper blood flow lead to congestion in the veins and eventually swelling and leg discomfort. In fact, 80% of females experience swollen ankles while pregnant.
What can I do to reduce the swelling in my legs and ankles?
- Elevate your feet when possible
- Avoid standing in one spot or sitting for prolonged periods of time. Take frequent walking breaks.
- Exercise your calf muscles
- Avoid wearing high heels or shoes without arch support. Shoes with arch support allow for better calf contractions which will assist in returning blood back to your heart.
- Wear gradient compression socks/stockings
How do compression stockings work?
Compression socks and stockings are designed to support your veins and improve circulation. They act as a layer of muscle by gently squeezing the relaxed vein walls together. As the distance between the walls of the vein is reduced, blood flow is able to be restored to a normal state (returned back to the heart).
Compression stockings come in different degrees of compression, lengths, colours and patterns and have become very fashion forward in recent years. The amount of compression and length of the stocking is chosen based upon your unique situation.
Compression products must be professionally measured by certified fitters to ensure the best fit and reduction of symptoms. BioPed’s clinical professionals are trained in the measuring and fitting of compression products.
From all of us at BioPed, we wish to congratulate you on your pregnancy and extend our best wishes for a safe delivery and healthy baby.
BioPed’s Clinical Professionals work closely with patients and their health care providers to choose the best treatment option. Ask your family doctor or obstetrician about BioPed.