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?

pregnancy & compression

  • Elevate your feet when possible
  • Go for a Swim
  • 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).

pregnancy & compression

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 should 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.

To find a BioPed clinic near you, click below.

Read More Articles:
  • Orthotic Slippers and Staying Pain-Free at Home

    Whether you regularly wear orthotics or just want a little extra foot support around the house, orthotic slippers are a great way to keep your feet happy....

  • arthritis-joint-pain

    Joint Pain

    Over 4.5 million Canadians have arthritis and in the coming years, this number will continue to grow. It is quite common for arthritis to be present in the hips, knees, ankles or feet. It can arise with age, from normal wear and tear on the joint. However, it can also arise as the result of infection, poor genetics, a prior injury, surgery, or in association with a disease process, such as psoriasis. Obesity and lifestyle choices can also lead to arthritis, especially in the hips, legs and feet....

  • How to find the right shoe size

    Contrary to popular belief, our shoe size continues to change as we age! Weight gain or loss, pregnancy and the effects of aging are all common causes for changes in the length and width of our feet. If you haven’t measured your feet in the last 12 months, you may be included in the nearly 1/3 of men and ½ of women wearing the wrong shoe size....

  • 3 Tips For Finding A Good Custom Orthotics Expert or Foot Specialist

    Having trouble finding a good Custom Orthotics Expert or Foot Specialist? Have you ever had orthotics that didn't seem to work, or even worse, made your issues worse? Watch our video to learn 3 tips to finding a good provider. ...

  • Foot Pain Stretching – Relieve Your Foot Pain

    The symptoms described above are the result of a condition called “Plantar Fasciitis”. The following foot pain stretching techniques are very effective at relieving pain caused by this condition:...

  • Bunions – Relieve The Pain

    Most bunion pain sufferers don't actually know the wide array of solutions that exist to help relive their foot pain. As a result, most bunion pain sufferers simply try and live with it. We are here to change that and provide relief to those suffering from this type of pain....

  • Plantar Fasciitis Foot, Heel & Arch Pain

    Plantar Fasciitis is the most common type of Heel Pain? If you wake up from bed in the morning and experience a shooting heel pain when your feet hit the floor, you could be suffering from Plantar Fasciitis. ...

  • Do You Work On Your Feet All Day?

    Standing all day, whether work or at play, can do a real number on your feet, legs, and back! Each year in Canada, thousands of work-related foot injuries are reported and an increasing number of sick days are taken because of leg and foot problems....