Alright Mama, let's talk about tired legs and swollen feet and ankles. Or as we like to call them cankles. Not the most luxurious topic, but hey it happens! We like to keep it real here at The Spoiled Mama. The swelling of your legs and feet during and after pregnancy (aka postpartum edema) is extremely common and totally manageable. So put your feet up Mama and let's talk about what causes this swelling and a few ways to get some relief this summer.
What Are The Causes Of Pregnancy Edema?
During pregnancy you may experience increased fluid retention, restricted blood flow, and increased hormones. All of these can play a major role in swelling. One way to avoid increased swelling is maintaining a healthy diet. Drink lots of water. Yes, I know you’ve already peed three times today..And it's only 7am.. But increasing water intake and staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to beat the bloat. Limiting foods high in sodium (which is known to cause water retention) can also prevent swelling. Increasing foods with potassium such as sweet potatoes, spinach, and avocados help to flush out excess sodium. Somebody pass the guac!
How Can I Prevent Pregnancy Edema?
Ok so we’ve talked about some of the internal factors that cause swelling of our legs and feet, but what about the external ones? Standing too long is a big one. I know some of you have beautiful pregnancy photoshoot ideas at the beach planned, but standing on the beach all day can be rough on your legs and feet and may cause swelling and discomfort. If you plan on being on your feet for a long period of time make sure to pack a great pregnancy leg cream. Leg cream has been known to not only cool down tired and swollen legs, but actually fight inflammation too. Our favorite pregnancy leg cream is Happy Legs. It is rich in aloe, spirulina, and cucumber. The aloe in Happy Legs makes it a great treatment for sunburns too! Apply this aloe gel to inflamed skin every 6 to 8 hours until swelling and redness subside. And did you know that cucumber contains the same level of hydrogen as skin, allowing it to soothe and soften irritated areas of the body? It’s also full of ascorbic acid, which helps decrease water retention and reduce skin puffiness! Heck, we thought they were just things to put on your eyes during a facial..
How Can I Treat Postpartum Edema?
After giving birth your body will experience increased progesterone, causing your body to continue to retain an excess of water. This is called postpartum edema. So what is the best postpartum edema treatment? Some experts suggest compression socks, elevating your feet to help blood flow circulate back to your heart, and FOOT RUBS. Yep, that's right foot rubs! And spoiler: Happy Legs Aloe Gel isn't just to be used during pregnancy. Packed with soothing aloe this gel is the perfect postpartum edema treatment. Have your partner rub your legs and feet with this cooling aloe gel to help relieve swelling and inflammation. Want an extra cool foot rub? Pop Happy Legs in the fridge! Trust me, it's just what the Mama ordered ;)
These are just a few of our favorite ways to help relieve tired legs and swollen this summer, Mamas. Which one is your favorite? Let us know your own tips and tricks in the comments below!