Pregnant and finding it difficult to tie your shoes lately? Jessica Simpson can relate. The very pregnant star took to social media earlier this month to ask her fans for tips on how to deal with her extremely swollen feet and ankles.
"Any remedies? Help!" The singer wrote on her Instagram.
Luckily, her fans came to the rescue, offering up a slew of suggestions for the star. If you're in the same boat as Simpson, here's what you need to know about swelling during pregnancy.
It's (Mostly) Normal
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), swelling experienced in the hands, knees ace, legs, ankles, and feet during pregnancy, also known as edema, is a normal part of pregnancy that's caused by the additional blood and fluid your body is producing to meet the needs of your developing baby.
"This extra retention of fluid is needed to soften the body, which enables it to expand as the baby develops. Extra fluid also helps prepare the pelvic joints and tissues to open for delivery. The extra fluids account for approximately 25% of the weight women gain during pregnancy."
While swelling is to be expected, excessive swelling that persists for more than one day can be a sign of preeclampsia. However, that's usually accompanied by a number of other symptoms, including high blood pressure, proteins found in urine, and migraine-like headaches.
What Causes It
While swelling can occur at any point during the pregnancy, says the APA, it tends to develop during the fifth month of your term and will stick around until you give birth. Other factors, including standing for a long amount of time, excessive heat, a low amount of potassium in the diet, and a high level of sodium intake, can also contribute to your swelling.
How You Can Treat It
Fans suggested to Simpson to "elevate those feet and reduce salt intake," which are two of the recommendations from the APA. Other recommendations that fans made: staying off high heels, cold compresses, wearing compression socks, reducing carbs, and taking an Epsom salt bath -- most of which are also recommended by the APA.
In the end, Simpson chose to experiment with cupping therapy, an ancient Chinese massage therapy technique that involves placing special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction and is thought to increase blood circulation.
While elevating your feet and reducing sodium intake seem like the obvious, and easiest, choices to help reduce swelling, if you're concerned whether your swelling is normal, it's always important to consult with your medical doctor first. If you're given the go ahead, then maybe you could opt for cupping like Simpson.
After all, it seemed to work for her. Simpson proudly showed off the results afterward.
“SKANKLES aka Skinny Ankles," she captioned her photo of her noticeably less swollen feet.
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