WHY THO: SWOLLEN EVERYTHING
WHERE DID YOUR ANKLES GO?
A pregnancy right of passage is the moment you slip into a pair of shoes you’ve worn for at least an entire season and realize that your feet no longer fit inside them. The gradual disappearance of definition around your ankles and the increasing width of your foot could make for a very sci-fi-style stop motion video. Our bodies are holding onto a lot of water during pregnancy, but there is something you might be able to do to control it.
At this point your body needs to be soft—to comfortably expand and prepare the joints and muscles for the strain of labor. Your body’s natural way of helping you do that is to hold onto water and produce more blood. (You hold onto 50% more blood and water during pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association.)
Try to stay off your feet for long periods of time.
Stay out of the heat (even when you’re not pregnant you’ll notice your fingers and feet expand on those hot, humid days).
Cut out any excess salt, just as you would to avoid bloating pre-baby.
Wear compression socks (these actually do work!). They prevent blood from pooling in the veins and may even reduce the risk of varicose veins, phlebitis, and thrombosis.
Massage. Either by you, a professional, or someone you love, getting the blood flowing helps enormously. Use long, upward strokes and a nourishing, hydrating oil.
Load up on potassium. Bananas are a famously delicious source—and this mineral might even help combat Restless Leg Syndrome.
NEUROTIC THOUGHT OF THE DAY
Down Girl contains caffeine, isn’t that supposed to be off-limits during pregnancy?
Not entirely! There’s debate on how much caffeine one should consume while pregnant but there’s no gray area in regards to having a small amount of it applied topically. In this case it helps flush toxins which can temporarily relieve swelling.
Down Girl, Soothing Foot + Leg Relief