The cause of swollen feet during pregnancy is often not something to worry about. However, if accompanied by other symptoms, it could be a complaint of swollen feet the caused by something condition medical that need to be checked by a doctor.
The body of a pregnant woman will naturally adjust to support the growth and development of the fetus, as well as prepare for birth. These changes can result in a variety of complaints, including swelling of the legs or edema.
Causes of Swollen Feet during Pregnancy
Complaints of swollen feet are quite often experienced by pregnant women in the final trimester of pregnancy. However, this condition can also occur in pregnant women in early pregnancy.
Depending on the gestational age, here are some of the most common causes of swollen feet during pregnancy:
In early pregnancy, the hormone progesterone will increase rapidly. This condition results in the appearance of slight swelling in several parts of the body, including the legs. Swelling due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy is normal.
However, if swollen feet are accompanied by dizziness, headache, severe pain in the legs, or bleeding in the first trimester, immediately consult a gynecologist. These symptoms may indicate a health problem.
The second trimester of pregnancy is the period of time when the pregnancy reaches the age of 13–28 weeks. In the second trimester, many pregnant women experience swollen feet when they are 20 weeks pregnant.
The cause is an increase in the volume of blood and fluids in the body. this is the body’s natural way of supporting the growing fetus, as well as preparing the joints and pelvic tissues to be more open for delivery.
Swollen feet are most common in the third trimester, which is when the pregnancy has entered the age of 28 weeks.
In addition to increased body fluids, the cause of swollen feet during pregnancy in the final trimester is the uterus which continues to enlarge as the fetus develops. The condition of the growing uterus can put pressure on the veins in the pelvis.
This pressure slows the return of blood from the legs to the heart, so blood collects in the leg veins and causes swelling.
In addition, swollen feet experienced by pregnant women can also be caused by the following:
- Standing too long
- Wearing narrow shoes
- Fatigue or doing too much activity
- Excess amniotic fluid
- Pregnant with twins
- Hot weather
- Not drinking water
- Less consumption of foods containing potassium
- Eating lots of foods that contain high salt or caffeinated drinks
Beware of Swollen Legs during Pregnancy
Swollen feet that appear without other symptoms are most likely normal during pregnancy. However, swollen feet should be watched out for if accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Swelling also appears in other body parts, such as in the hands, face, and around the eyes
- Dizziness or headache
- Dizzy eyes
- Visual disturbance
- Stomach pain
- Hard to breathe
If pregnant women experience the above symptoms, immediately consult a gynecologist for pregnancy. To evaluate the condition of pregnant women, the doctor will perform a physical examination and support, such as urine tests, blood tests, and ultrasound pregnancy.
If the results of the examination show that there is an increase in blood or an increased amount of urine protein in pregnant women, it could be a sign of preeclampsia.
In addition, if the swelling occurs in only one leg and is accompanied by pain, redness, and tenderness in the calf and leg, this condition may indicate a blockage in the blood vessels in the leg or deep vein thrombosis.
Complaints of swollen feet during pregnancy will usually subside by itself after the baby is born. If you are bothered by this complaint, pregnant women can try to overcome swollen feet during pregnancy by routinely exercising lightly, such as walking or swimming, and not sitting or standing for too long.
To make sure the swollen feet that pregnant women experience are not caused by a medical condition that needs to be watched out for, check with a doctor. In addition, do regular pregnancy check-ups to the obstetrician to monitor the health condition of the pregnant woman herself and the baby in the womb.