The Single Best Way to Reduce Swollen Feet in Pregnancy
A few weeks ago when I hit 7 months for this pregnancy, my hands swelled to the point where I had to remove my wedding ring.
I’m no stranger to the magical symptom of swollen feet and hands during pregnancy. During my last pregnancy, at the end of a day at my desk job, I looked like the Wikipedia entry for Elephantitis.
I tried everything.
- Avoid standing. (But remember: sitting too much can kill you.)
- Drink more water. (And have fun peeing every 15 minutes.)
- Put your feet up, above your hips. (But don’t lay on your back.)
- Exercise regularly. (Good luck fitting your gargantuan feet into tennis shoes.)
None of it helped. My swollen hands and fingers made it impossible to type or even hold my phone.
Every night, I sank onto the couch and put my swollen feet on an ottoman topped with three pillows.
And I’d stare at my feet. My poor, puffy feet.
I wanted to cry and yell and disown my feet, all at the same time.
So when my puffiness started a few weeks ago for this pregnancy, I talked to my doctor, desperate for new advice to reduce swelling during pregnancy.
A Simple Fix for Swollen Feet and Hands (and Everything) During Pregnancy
One of the doctors in my practice is pregnant and just a couple weeks ahead of me, so she GETS IT.
Lucky for me, I had an appointment with her the same week I removed my wedding ring.
“It seems like the swelling has started earlier for me this time,” I said, my legs dangling off the exam table and collecting even more fluid as I spoke. “I sit with my feet up as much as possible and drink a ton of water, but it doesn’t really help.”
She smiled. “Well, there’s one more thing you can try that helps a lot, but it’s not for everyone.”
I sat up straighter, crinkling the paper on the table. “What?” I asked.
“Massage will definitely help improve circulation and reduce swelling from edema,” she said.
“Like a prenatal massage?”
“Sure, if you can afford it. Or even just asking your partner to massage your feet every night.”
Uh…can I get a doctor’s note for that?
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Can You Imagine?
My husband was already hooking me up with regular foot massages, but this was the first time any doctor of mine had recommended prenatal massage for a medical reason.
I let my imagination get a little carried away.
What if health insurance covered therapeutic massage to address swollen feet during pregnancy? Or…what if insurance covered one prenatal massage for each month in your final trimester?
What if while you were waiting for your OB/GYN appointment, your doctor’s office had a licensed massage therapist on staff to offer 10-minute foot massages?
What if, instead of walking away from your baby shower with 3 diaper genies, 7 copies of Goodnight Moon†, and 18 adorable bibs, your friends all pitched in for monthly massages?
Related: 25+ Surprising Baby Must Haves for Baby’s First Year
5 Ways to Get a Prenatal Massage for Cheap
For now, I cashed in on my Mother’s Day present this past weekend: an hour-long prenatal massage and a reprieve from feeling like a living, breathing jet-puffed marshmallow – at least for a few days.
If you’re pregnant and swollen and desperate, try a prenatal massage.
I know massages can be pricey, so here are a few ideas for making it work:
- Check if there’s a massage school in your area. You can usually get discounted massages from massage therapists in training.
- Sign up for deal alerts at sites like Groupon and Living Social.
- Trim your registry to the baby must haves and add a massage to balance it out.
- Check with your health insurance provider. Who knows – medically necessary massage might be covered under your plan.
- If you can’t afford a full-body massage, check prices for a foot massage.
And if anyone gives you any grief about treating yourself to a massage, just tell them it’s a doctor-recommended remedy for swollen feet during pregnancy.
Before you go, get my FREE cheat sheet: 75 Positive Phrases Every Child Needs to Hear
Check out 6 Secrets to Finding the Best Cute Maternity Clothes and 7 Tips for Postpartum Clothes That Won’t Make You Look Pregnant.
Aside from swollen feet during pregnancy, what was your least favorite pregnancy symptom? Share your story in a comment below!
Note: All information on this site is for educational purposes only. Happy You, Happy Family does not provide medical advice. If you suspect medical problems or need professional advice, please consult a physician.
I had the WORST restless leg syndrome.. I’d be in tears most night, my poor hubby would try to rub my legs, I did stretches, nothing worked. The only thing that have me very TEMPORARY relief was a warm bath immediately before bed but if I didn’t fall asleep within like 10 minutes after the bath it would be back :( luckily it disappeared after birth!
I just wanted to share with everyone that I am a professional certified massage therapist and because of that I know how well massage works for so many things not just the swelling but it also helps with the baby. It is proven in books and by doctors that massage therapy during pregnancy can increase your circulation which can help improve your babies growth. I even massage my own legs and feet at night and I start at the top of my thighs and work my way down with a gentle petrossage which is a kneading noting with both hands. Although it is better to start at the feet and work up at my 6 month mark of my fourth pregnancy it was definitely to hard to start at the bottom and work my way up. Lol. But it has been proven by my doctor to help with all things pregnancy and that includes my nauseous demeanor that I wake up with every morning and night. There is no Meds or no other solution that I have found that has massage therapy beaten when it comes to my nausea. There is a school somewhere close if you only seek one out you will only be happy with the results. In Alabama there is a school in Birmingham called Birmingham school of massage. It is the school I have graduated from and I have expierenced the truely amazing benefits from their student therapist in training. The cost is $30.00 for a student massage and all the students that are there to work on clients are trained for several months before they are able to begin working in the student clinics. These are a requirement for them to graduate and they are not compensated with anything of monetary value it is strictly for the expierence and the client building skills that they are able to evolve by working with actual people rather than only their classroom peers and their fellow therapist that teach them. Please reach out if you are a pregnant women in need of relief from the typical medical conditions brought on by a new beautiful child. I have personally experienced massage with one pregnancy and then after I completed my massage therapy class of my own I began working on myself and many other pregnant women and just the results alone outweighs the monetary value of the massage benefits. Just Do It. God Bless and I hope the best for the women out there that are pregnant.
I want to take msg I stay in Hyderabad how much cost it is???
A massage therapist at the OB/GYN office is a fantastic idea!! You should definitely get that started!