5 Steps To Massage Your Swollen Feet During Pregnancy

5 Steps To Massage Your Swollen Feet During Pregnancy

16 Nov 2022 | 5 min Read

Sudeshna Chakravarti

Author | 799 Articles

Pregnancy is a magical experience for expecting mums, who are filled with joy and anticipation about the arrival of their little bundle of joy. However, there are also some not-so-magical side effects that mums have to experience during this time.

One such discomfort you may experience, especially in your third trimester, is swollen feet and ankles. While this condition is usually tolerable and seldom a cause of concern, it may hinder your day-to-day activities. But worry not, as there are many ways you can alleviate this symptom and get relief. For instance, you can try massaging your feet with a relief oil to reduce inflammation and pain. Keep reading to know more about how to massage your swollen feet during pregnancy and the kind of oil to use for quick relief.

What Causes Swollen Feet During Pregnancy?

What Causes Swollen Feet During Pregnancy?
Fluid build-up in your body during pregnancy can cause inflammation in your ankles and feet / Image credit: Freepik

Before you learn about massage techniques, let’s first take a look at why your feet swell during pregnancy. When you are pregnant, your body produces extra fluid to support the growth of your baby. This causes your blood circulation to slow down, resulting in fluid build-up in your body. Additionally, as your uterus expands, more pressure is put on the veins of your lower body, causing your ankles and feet to swell up. 

Some other factors that may cause swelling of your feet during pregnancy include 

  • Increased caffeine intake
  • Dietary imbalances
  • Standing for a long period of time
  • Hot weather
  • Inadequate hydration

How to Massage Your Swollen Feet During Pregnancy?

How to Massage Your Swollen Feet During Pregnancy?
Use gentle and light movements while massaging your feet and ankles during pregnancy / Image credit: Freepik

A gentle massage can reduce discomfort and inflammation in your feet, and offer relief from pain. But avoid using any harsh movements while massaging your feet to prevent blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). We have discussed a few tips you can keep in mind while massaging your swollen ankles and feet during pregnancy.

  • Step 1: Apply a generous amount of lotion or massage oil on the affected area. You can use a relief oil, such as The Moms Co.’s natural pain relief oil, which is formulated with potent anti-inflammatory agents like turmeric oil and mahua oil that reduce swelling and also relieve muscle and joint pain. 
  • Step 2: Now, start by loosening your ankle with a gentle shaking motion from side to side.
  • Step 3: Hold your foot with both hands and then rub the top of your foot with firm upward strokes. Always stroke upward as that helps enhance circulation, and then come back with a lighter stroke.
  • Step 4: Massage your toes too, and give them a gentle tug.
  • Step 5: Squeeze your heels, and then move to rub the bottom of your foot.

You can also consider alternating the pressure applied while massaging your feet and ankles. For instance, use your fingers to apply lighter pressure, and your thumbs, knuckles, and palm to apply deeper pressure. You can use the same technique to massage your calves and thighs, but remember, always use gentle movements to prevent the risk of blood clots.

Some Other Benefits of Foot Massage During Pregnancy

Some Other Benefits of Foot Massage During Pregnancy
Massage therapy helps lower your stress levels and also offers some postpartum benefits / Image credit: Freepik

Besides reducing swelling in your ankles and feet, a foot massage offers several other benefits that enhance your health during pregnancy.

  • It reduces anxiety and depression: Research conducted by a forum called Science Direct revealed that pregnant women who receive regular massage therapy report being less anxious and depressed.
  • It lowers cortisol levels: A soothing massage can lower the cortisol levels in your body (stress hormones), which results in an overall feeling of warmth and relaxation.
  • It shortens your labour: The benefits of massage therapy in labour aren’t something to be overlooked. According to the same study by Science Direct, women who frequently indulged in massage therapy during pregnancy had shortened labour, and were also administered lesser medications than compared to others.
  • It benefits your baby: Massage therapy also reduces the risk of premature birth and low birth weight. Additionally, it helps lower the cortisol level in your baby as well, resulting in a much calmer and more relaxed baby.
  • It offers postpartum benefits: The benefits of massage extend to post-birth too. It helps reduce the chances of postpartum depression and also aids in your quick recovery.

Besides reducing the symptoms of swollen feet during pregnancy, foot massage offers several other benefits to your overall health as well. To get the best effects, use the pain relief oil we discussed above, and focus on applying gentle and light movements to prevent clotting of the blood or serious conditions like deep vein thrombosis. If swelling in your feet persists even after massaging regularly, then consult your doctor right away to understand the cause and start an appropriate treatment method. 

Cover Image Credit: Freepik.com



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