What makes your feet swell

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    The mild swelling that's so common during pregnancy and that, thanks to the laws of gravity, is particularly noticeable in the feet and ankles. It can vary by the hour (fatter feet in the evening) and by the weather (warmer temperatures forecast more swelling).Edema During Pregnancy — What Causes It

    During pregnancy, body fluids increase in order to nurture both you and your baby. As your body tissues accumulate and retain fluids, you may experience this oh-so-necessary increase as oh-so-annoying swelling (and particularly swollen ankles and feet.)Edema During Pregnancy — What You Need to Know

    Mild swelling and edema, although it's not comfortable or pretty to look at, is harmless and perfectly normal. It's also just as normal not to experience noticeable swelling (25 percent of pregnant women don't).Edema During Pregnancy — What You Can Do About It

    Avoid long periods of standing or sitting. If you're on your feet a lot, take breaks and have a seat. If you're on your butt a lot, take a five-minute stroll at least once an hour, and try to keep your legs elevated when you're back in your chair.Wear comfy shoes while you're out (those sexy slingbacks don't fit now, anyway), and once you get home, switch to a pair of soft slippers.Avoid tight elastic-top socks or stockings. Your goal is to let blood and fluids flow as freely as possible.Try support hose — opt for full pantyhose (with extra tummy room) or knee- or thigh-highs (a better choice if you're perpetually warm) that aren't tight on top. Whichever type of support hose you choose, put them on in the morning before the daily swelling starts so they can do their job more effectively.Drink water during pregnancy, and drink early and often. It may seem illogical to try to flush out fluids with fluids, but drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day will help rid your system of excess sodium and other waste products, minimizing swelling.If your hands and/or face become puffy, or if swelling persists for more than a day at a time (it doesn't improve overnight), call your practitioner. (Excessive edema can be a sign of preeclampsia, especially when accompanied by rapid weight gain, a rise in blood pressure, and protein in the urine.)

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