They tell you that you’ll feel radiant, at one with your body, on top of the world, and bursting with joy. What they don’t tell you is that you’ll also feel moody, fed up with your body and that you’ll retain more water than a small marina! Pregnancy comes with many annoying ailments, and water retention is just one that you’ll have to contend with.
Where Did My Ankles Go?
If your ankles have suddenly gone from slim to grim, you are not alone. It makes no difference what your shape is. Water retention can affect anybody. Swelling is one of the side effects of water retention and is a very common ailment amongst pregnant women. And it isn’t just your ankles that can be affected. Your fingers, face, and lower back can also become swollen.
You might find that the swelling in your ankles and legs gets worse as the day goes on. If you do a job or activities requiring you to be on your feet, you could suffer more than somebody who leads a more sedentary way of life or has a desk job. Does anti-gravity suit anyone? Gravity has a lot to answer for, and in addition to causing certain parts of the body to go south as we age, it can also be responsible for fluid build-up.
Keep Your Cool and Your Feet Up
Hot weather and tiredness can also cause pesky swelling so try to keep cool and get a good night’s sleep whenever you can. It won’t always be possible to prevent swelling, but you can do a few things to alleviate the symptoms and any discomfort you may be feeling.
A balanced diet is one of the best ways of easing water retention. That’s bad news if your cravings have got you raiding the biscuit tin every ten minutes, but by including some good stuff such as lean protein, eggs and beans, pulses with your meals, and getting your 5-a-day, you will be doing more to avoid puffy ankles.
Many women make the mistake of reducing water because they overthink, which can cause water build-up. The opposite is true, and you should aim to drink plenty of water to help flush the kidneys and help them dispose of excess liquid. You should also aim to reduce sugar, salt, and fat as these can also cause water retention.
If you can, try and elevate your legs as much as possible. That doesn’t mean spontaneous headstands in the office (although we’d love to see you try!), but aim to put your feet up for at least 10 minutes every couple of hours.
The Perfect Cover-Ups
Above all else, relax and try not to worry about your changing shape and the symptoms that come with it. The swelling won’t last forever, and many women notice a dramatic improvement once their baby arrives.
If you are worried about swollen ankles and calves, why not wear expecting mom clothes to stay comfortable. Invest in a couple of maternity leggings, palazzo pants, trousers, maxi dresses, and loungewear to cover a multitude of sins while still ensuring you stay in style.