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How to relieve swollen legs in pregnancy

relieve swollen legs in pregnancy

What are the best ways to relieve swollen legs in pregnancy? Our guide outlines what causes the problem and 12 ways to reduce the swelling.

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Many women suffer from heavy legs during pregnancy. You cannot prevent these symptoms, but there are some practical tricks to relieve them!

It is not only the constantly growing baby bump that causes a certain feeling of heaviness during pregnancy: the legs also often feel thick and heavy. Mum-to-be can look forward to the belly getting bigger and bigger. With the heavy legs it is unfortunately a bit different. For aesthetic reasons, but also and above all for health reasons.

The weight gain during pregnancy and the pressure of the uterus on the large abdominal veins favor the appearance of heavy legs during pregnancy. The symptoms are expressed simply by an uncomfortable feeling of heaviness or pain such as leg cramps. But they can also lead to more serious problems like varicose veins and leg edema. We’ll tell you here what you can do to prevent it from getting that far!

12 ways to relieve swollen legs in pregnancy

Prevention and treatment of swollen legs are primarily aimed at preventing blood stagnation and the factors responsible for it:

1. Wear comfortable shoes! Avoid wearing shoes and socks that are too tight and restrict blood circulation.

2. Special compression or support stockings can have a relieving effect (especially towards the end of pregnancy), since they exert particularly strong pressure on the ankle, where the blood often accumulates. They are especially recommended if you tend to have varicose veins.

3. Avoid long standing and put your legs up (even when sitting) as soon as you can.

4. Sleep with your legs raised (10-15 cm) to facilitate blood flow back.

5. Cold water showers: shower your legs with cold water every day.

6. Make cold compresses (the good old calf wraps don’t just help against fever!).

7. Avoid sun and heat : The legs should generally not be exposed to the heat: sunbathing, sauna, warm baths or epilation with warm wax … are now taboo.

8. Movement is important : Walk for half an hour every day at a brisk pace and take a deep breath. Swimming or yoga are also recommended during pregnancy to keep the body fit and the legs in motion.

9. Massage your legs , preferably with a cooling gel. It is important to always massage towards the heart.

10. Proper nutrition is also important : Eat asparagus, cucumber or leek regularly – these vegetables have a draining effect.

11. Drink enough , preferably herbal tea! Nettle tea, for example, has a draining effect!

12. Also think of homeopathic treatments : Homeopathy is safe for the health of mother and child and relieves the feeling of heaviness in the legs. Check with your gynecologist or pharmacist!

A simple exercise to relieve swollen legs in pregnancy:

  • Lie on your back with your legs up.
  • Stretch the right leg and makes about 10 circular movements with the tip of the foot.
  • Switch legs and repeat the exercise on the left.

When should you go to the doctor?

If a calf or varicose vein swells, becomes red and painful, you should definitely see your doctor or midwife. Because that can indicate an onset of phlebitis.

Important note: The information in this article is for information only and does not replace a diagnosis by a doctor. If you are unsure, urgent questions or complaints, you should contact your doctor.