Swollen Feet Even After Giving Birth: Causes and Reliefs

Swollen Feet Even After Giving Birth: Causes and Reliefs
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Many new moms think that once they have their baby, that all the pregnancy symptoms will go away, but you should know not all of them do, and unfortunately, your body won’t automatically bounce back to its pre-pregnancy state. Swelling can actually increase after having a baby, which can cause more discomfort and pain that makes all their new mothering tasks more challenging. Swollen feet is common with many women, but what causes it and is there anything you can do about it? Read on to learn more.

Swollen Feet Even After Giving Birth: Causes and Reliefs

Why Do You Experience Swollen Feet After Birth?

1. Changes in the body from pregnancy

When you are pregnant, the body produces more progesterone which can result in water retention. The expansion of the uterus during pregnancy can also cause more pressure to be put on the veins in the legs. This pressure can restrict the blood flow to the lower limbs. With all this excess fluid being built up throughout the pregnancy, it can take some time, even after the baby is born for the fluids to reduce.

2. Delivery

On top of the pressure that is being naturally put on the body, the delivery process also adds more pressure. With a vaginal birth, the pushing process can send excess blood and fluids to other parts of the body which can cause the hands or feet to swell. Some women may even experience swelling in the face due to the excess blood flow.

3. IV Fluids

During the delivery process, most women will be given IV fluids. Those having a C-section will be administered medications and anesthesia through an IV and women doing a natural birth will be given fluids or other medications to ease the birthing process. With these excess fluids, the body will tend to swell for a few days after delivery which is a normal and common occurrence when receiving IV fluids of any kind.

Should You Worry About Swollen Feet After Birth?

While swelling after giving birth is a common occurrence, it is rarely a serious concern. If, however, you experience the following symptoms, you will want to contact your doctor immediately.

  • Headaches, dizziness or blurred vision which can indicate high blood pressure.
  • Severe pain or swelling in just one leg can be a result of a blood clot.
  • Difficulty breathing or chest pain as well as severe swelling which can be an indication of a rare heart condition.

How to Deal with Swollen Feet After Giving Birth

1. Diet

Eating a healthy diet can help flush out excess fluids from the body after having a baby. Eating a diet that consist of healthy proteins, fruits, vegetables and complex carbs can help reduce swelling. You want to avoid processed foods that can contain high amounts of sodium which will result in more swelling.

2. Fluids

While your body may have excess fluids stored up, your need to ensure you are drinking plenty of fluids. When you drink more water, you will actually signal the body to flush out the excess fluids instead of holding onto it.

3. Elevate your feet

Keeping your feet in a lifted position for about 30 minutes a day can help reduce swelling. When you elevate your feet so that they are above your heart, you can promote proper blood flow through the body.

4. Exercise

Moderate exercise after birth can help improve blood circulation and will help remove excess fluid from the body through sweating. You want to ensure that you have doctors approval to exercise after giving birth and don’t discount all those times you have to lift, feed, change and carry around your newborn – those can be good exercises too.

5. Massages

Getting a foot and leg massage can help with circulation as well as breaking up excess fluid build up after birth. You can ask your partner to gently massage your feet and legs. Always message from the bottom of your feet up to the legs. You can also use a base oil to massage into the areas; just avoid using aromatherapy essential oils when you’re dealing with swollen feet after birth.

6. Be aware of your posture

Crossing your legs or standing for long periods of time can increase swelling. Remember to sit for a little and when you lay down, keep your feet slightly elevated.

7. Foot soak

To help improve blood flow, try soaking your feet in warm water with an aromatherapy oil. Cypress oil can help prevent varicose veins from forming and lavender or chamomile oil can help relieve discomfort.

8. Teas

Consuming herbal teas like dandelion tea can help reduce fluid retention. In moderation, these teas can help with swelling after birth, but should not be consumed if you have issues with your gallbladder.

9. Cabbage leaves

Wrapping your swollen feet with cabbage leaves can help draw out excess fluids and relieve discomfort. Thoroughly clean the cabbage leaves and allow them to dry, then place them in the refrigerator. Once the leaves are cool, wrap them around your feet and ankles and leave them on until they become wet. Repeat this process until the discomfort goes away as often as needed.

10. Acupuncture and reflexology

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that can help balance the energies in your body. This treatment can help improve circulation to your swollen feet as well as improve kidney function to reduce excess fluid build up. Acupuncture, as well as foot reflexology, are really effective you can give a try.

11. Lower the temperature

Heat can increase swelling and make discomfort worse. When you have swollen feet after birth, you want to keep yourself as cool as possible. This might mean staying indoors in a room with good airflow. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing or accessories that can interfere with blood flow and cause you to become overheated.