Swollen Ankles during Pregnancy

• Most women experience some swelling in the ankles some point during their pregnancy
• Swelling is caused by the pressure put by the baby on the veins in the legs and groin. This is especially the case in the last trimester or if you have been on your feet for the most part of the day
• Sometimes swelling is a result of water retention in the body
• Please note that sudden swelling could indicate preeclampsia (high blood pressure and high protein level in urine) during pregnancy
• Also, if swelling presents itself in only one leg, it could be a symptom of a blood clot in the veins (thrombosis)
• Though usually safe, we recommend timely evaluation by your physician if you experience swelling just to rule out any complications

What can you do about it?
• Eat a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables
• Ensure adequate intake of proteins (pulses, eggs etc.)
• Drink plenty of water
• Reduce intake of salt, sugar, and fat in your meals
• Rest as much as possible during the day
• Eat food rich in Vitamin C (potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, citrus fruits etc.) and Vitamin E (cashew nuts, almonds etc.)

Summary
• Swelling in the ankles is usually harmless and very common in later part of the pregnancy (mostly caused by the increasing pressure put by the growing baby)
• Most women are able to manage the condition by taking adequate rest, eating healthy and keeping themselves hydrated
• In most cases this does not need any medical intervention and resolves itself post pregnancy
• However, in some rare cases, it could be a sign of a clot in the veins or of high blood pressure and may need medical attention
• If you experience swelling that does not ease with simple measures, please consult your doctor to rule out any complications

Team Ovum Hospitals