One of my unexpected battles during my first pregnancy was extreme swelling in my feet and ankles..and now that I think about it, my legs in general got a lot bigger, especially my calves (which have always been far from skinny)! The swelling condition is also referred to as edema and I had it BAD. I was probably carrying an extra 20 pounds in water weight around my feet and ankles… And — not that I really wanted to share a photo of my feet and ankles, toes too…but the above photo is just that, the day I checked into the hospital to give birth. My ankles and calves all sort of started to blend into one and I seriously was thinking I had more than “cankles,” more like elephantiasis! All jokes aside, I didn’t feel too cute and it was very uncomfortable. Thankfully I didn’t experience anywhere near this amount of swelling in my second pregnancy, but my shoe size did increase in both pregnancies.
Okay, so the point of this post…what saved me were compression stockings! The support hose or socks, whatever you want to call them were nothing short of amazing. You may associate them with little old ladies, but the truth of the matter is athletes use them, as well as lots of professionals who are on their feet all day. My baby sister who is an RN gave me a pair of hers after observing how puffy my lower extremities were and as soon as I started wearing them I noticed a real difference. The swelling started to go down tremendously, my circulation improved and I could again make out the bones in my feet – my “regular” feet are quite skinny and boney!
So, if you are pregnant and experiencing issues with swelling and circulation, I recommend getting some of these ASAP! They have a variety of styles and compression levels available, I used a knee-high version with the open toe. These are also great if you’re not pregnant, but spend a lot of time on your feet, as they help with circulation and can possibly help fight the appearance of varicose veins!