Abnormal buildup of fluid in the ankles, feet or legs is called peripheral edema and is quite common among new mothers. If you are suffering from swollen feet and ankles, there is little you can do except wait for the swelling to decrease. However here are some simple remedies you can try to alleviate some of the discomfort.
Elevate your feet – Resting your feet up on a stool, box or pile of books when you sit down will help excess fluid drain from your feet and ankles.
Don’t cross your legs – Sitting with your legs crossed can make any fluid retention worse so try and remember to sit with your feet flat on the floor or crossed at the ankles instead.
Avoid salty foods – Salty foods cause you to hang onto extra water so try and minimise them wherever possible. This includes salt-laden ready meals as well as ‘typically’ salty foods such as salted nuts and crisps.
Stretch your legs – If you sit at a desk all day make sure you take regular breaks to walk around and stretch your legs, again giving your circulation a much-needed boost. Periodically pointing and flexing your toes and rotating your ankles will also help to keep blood and fluid moving.
Wear support tights – While tight ankle socks can cut into your swollen legs and be hugely uncomfortable, waist high support tights can actually help to reduce uncomfortable swelling so if you’re suffering they’re definitely worth a try.
Drink plenty of water– As Healthline suggests, “It may seem counterintuitive when you’re already retaining so much fluid, but drinking water will actually help reduce your body’s water retention.”
Avoid processed food– The medical daily further advises, “Many processed foods contain high amounts of sodium, which can cause bloating and aggravate postpartum swelling. Instead, eat a healthy, balanced diet with good sources of lean protein and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Try to keep sugar and table salt to a minimum.”
Also read: Pregnancy Concerns: Swelled up feet