9 Natural Remedies For Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
Acupuncturist & Holistic Women’s Health expert, Josie Bouchier, shares her tips on soothing swollen feet during pregnancy.
As your pregnancy progresses, you may experience swollen feet and ankles, especially if you are on your feet for long periods of time, are required to wear uncomfortable shoes, or live in a warm climate.
Having swollen feet is completely normal, and luckily there are many safe, natural home remedies you can try at home to reduce the swelling and make yourself more comfortable.
In this article, we’ll cover the following swollen feet remedies for pregnant women:
- Stick to a healthy diet that includes plenty of protein and salt
- Drink nettle and/or dandelion infused tea
- Eat foods high in potassium
- Decrease your caffeine intake
- Elevate your feet throughout the day
- Lie and sleep on your left side
- Exercise 30 minutes every day
- Soak your feet in Epsom salt
- Massage your feet with arnica oil
NOTE: If you notice swelling coming on quickly, if the swelling isn’t relieved by simple remedies, or if it’s accompanied by headaches or blurry vision, seek immediate medical attention as these can be symptoms of high blood pressure or preeclampsia.
How to Reduce Swelling During Pregnancy
Here are my 9 remedies for swollen feet during pregnancy:
1. Get plenty of protein, adequate salt and other essential nutrients
Pregnant women can be carrying an additional 20 lbs of fluid in the third trimester. Swelling is a common and natural result of this increased fluid. Essential nutrients and minerals directly aeffect how well your body is able to process all that extra fluid, also known as electrolyte balance.
Avoid processed and packaged foods, which contain high amounts of regular table salt, and opt for whole foods and unprocessed sea salt that contains all the good-for-you trace minerals and nutrients that will help maintain optimal electrolyte balance and reduce or prevent swelling. For more information on pregnancy nutrition, read our article on Healthy eating during pregnancy.
2. Drink nettle and dandelion tea
Drink 1-2 cups of dandelion and nettle infused tea daily to help improve circulation and balance electrolytes in the body.
3. Eat foods high in potassium
Potassium is an important mineral that helps maintain the salt to water ratio in your body. Foods high in potassium include these fruits, vegetables, and herbs:
- Romaine lettuce
- Blackstrap molasses
- Prune juice
- Sun-dried tomatoes
4. Decrease your caffeine intake
Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it increases urination, leading to dehydration and fluid retention. Replace your caffeine with a cup of chamomile or peppermint tea, which both contain many beneficial trace minerals including potassium.
5. Elevate your feet
Elevate your feet for 20 minutes, 3-4 times per day. Use cushions to prop your feet up slightly above the level of your heart to ensure the blood and fluid returns to your heart, relieving the swelling in the lower extremities.
6. Lie on your left side
Whether sleeping or resting, lying on your left side can help increase circulation in your body, which will help reduce swelling in your feet.
7. Exercise for 30 minutes a day
Exercise, like gentle yoga or swimming, keeps your blood and fluids circulating throughout your body so they have less of a tendency to settle in your feet. Before you get started, see our articles on exercising while pregnant:
8. Take Epsom salt foot soak baths
Soaking your feet for 15 minutes in a basin with warm water and ½ cup Epsom salts or in the bathtub with 1 cup. Make soaking in Epsom salts a relaxing nightly ritual if you can while you’re pregnant. Feel free to add a couple drops of lavender, rose, rosemary, or wintergreen essential oil.
9. Ask for a foot massage with arnica oil
Arnica can help relieve sore and aching muscles, and joints. Whether it’s your partner, friend or masseuse, make sure they are aware of your comfort level and do not not to press too hard on any certain points. A gentle foot massage to let the arnica soak in is all you need.
Stay Comfortable and Healthy During Pregnancy
- Pregnancy is a momentous experience, both emotionally and physically. Your body will undergo immense changes in the nine months and beyond. As your baby belly expands, so will the pressure on your back, abdomen and pelvis so it’s important to listen to your body and to keep yourself as comfortable as possible. Our selection of Maternity Wear will help you do just that.
- For more information on how to stay healthy pregnancy, visit our section on Pregnancy & Birth for information on nutrition, exercise, birth readiness, postpartum care and more.