Cramps, swelling and varicose veins are some of the common ailments that occur during pregnancy. However, a proper lifestyle, exercise and rest should help alleviate these symptoms to a great extent.
- Cramps are sudden shooting pains in the calf muscles or the feet.
- They usually occur at night or when you are lying down.
- During pregnancy, the excess weight of your uterus puts pressure on your nerve of your legs causes cramping.
You can try the following to get relief from the pain:
- Bend and stretch your foot vigorously up and down 30 times
- Rotate each foot clockwise eight times and then anti-clockwise.
- Pull your toes hard up towards the ankle and rub the muscle vigorously.
- If all these do not work, then get up and try standing for some time.
- Varicose veins are usually a genetic condition which worsens during pregnancy.
- These are veins that have become swollen.
- They usually affect the leg area.
You can try the following to get relief from the discomfort:
- Avoid standing for long periods of time.
- Do not sit cross-legged.
- Manage your weight as this increases the pressure on your legs.
- Sit with your legs up as often as you can, or use a footrest to ease discomfort.
- Wear support tights and stockings that help to support your leg muscles.
- Elevate your foot while you sleep. Keep a pillow under the ankles.
- Do foot exercises and other antenatal exercises.
- Walking and swimming will help with the circulation.
- Your enlarged uterus is pressing against the vein vena cava which subsequently leads to fluid retention.
- This fluid tends to gather in the lower parts of the body as you spend most of the day in standing position.
- Gradual swelling of the body is normal and is not harmful to you or the baby.
There are some steps that you can take to ease the discomfort:
- Wear shoes that are comfortable. Avoid anything that pinches or squeezes your legs. Invest in a pair of bigger sized shoes if you have to.
- Avoid standing for a long period of time.
- Try to sit with your feet up as often as possible. Use a footrest.
- Regular exercise like walking and swimming can improve the circulation.
- Do note- Sudden swelling on face, hands and feet during pregnancy , more than what you usually experienced, can be pre- eclampsia or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure. This should be immediately brought to your doctor’s attention.
Do take relief in the fact that most of these symptoms are temporary and will soon pass once your little one checks out!