How to Relieve {Pregnancy} Swelling

Pregnancy woes can be extreme and I am fortunate to have only experienced (VERY!) minor ones like morning sickness and a bit of insomnia.  Now, my ice cream sundae fun-day has been topped with the cherry of swelling.  What a sweet way to kiss this pregnancy goodbye (she says types with severe sarcasm).  Thankfully, the swelling is mostly in my hands and feet and I’ve been consoled by being able to wear my mom’s wedding rings and by my bosses telling me to “Wear slippers to school; shoot, come barefoot for all we care!  As long as you are comfortable”.  I would never do that, but God bless their souls for the offer.

Through my extensive and professional research via the Facebook and moms groups, I’ve realized that swelling is something that most pregnant women must endure toward the end, but that life is a heck of a lot better if there is some relief to the clown feet.  So I figured I better go about discovering just how to find that relief.

And I was also getting really self-conscious about my kids’ constant up-downs from my ever-expanding midsection to my ballooned extremities and their continuous questions about my ankles being the same size as my feet, etc.

Middle school shame is a terrific motivator.

Here’s what’s worked for me…

Swelling During Pregnancy

1. Epsom salt baths // I really don’t know the science behind why Epsom salts are so awesome.  But I simply know that they are, in fact, awesome.  Whenever I notice the swelling coming on, I hop right in a warm Epsom salt bath (often accompanied by some lavender essential oil and Enya (holler)) and soak for 20 minutes.  Y’all, it works wonders in terms of relieving and diminishing swelling.

2. Elevation // Simple and effective.  Gather up all the pillows in your house and make a princess and the pea type of feathered skyscraper and prop those babies up, up, and away.  Swollen hands?  Get your praise hands on.  Or your roller coaster hands.  Or your touchdown hands.  Just put your hands in the air for the same result and of course, wave them like you just don’t care.

3. Lavender // Rubbing a drop of lavender essential oil on my feet and ankles before bed has been another lifesaver.  Lavender has the ability to sooth and calm, which is just what my feet need when they get all riled up.  Bonus if your baby-daddy applies the lavender along with a little massage!

4. TED hose // Dave brought a pair of these sexies home from the hospital for me the other night.  Also known as compression hose, stockings, etc., TED hose promote proper circulation.  They cover my whole foot and extend up to my knee, which has been so relieving as the swelling creeps up into my lower legs and calves (which just feels like shin splints).  They are definitely U-G-L-Y but my alibi is the ability to walk without grimacing so I deal.  Erika found some super cute compression tights that are to die-for!  I’m kicking myself for not discovering something like that sooner.  So if you’re in the market for something with the same effect as TED hose but want to show your pretty face in public, consult the fashion master.

5. Magnesium // My swelling typically only appears around 2:30 p.m. nowadays.  I attribute this to two reasons: 1) It’s getting bloody hot up in hurr; and 2) It’s the end of the school day, and I think the stress/work of the day final catch up to me.  What I’ve found beneficial is going home from work as soon as possible, elevating my feet, and adding some magnesium to a big glass of water.  The magnesium helps SO MUCH!  (also, it helps immensely with pregnancy constipation if that’s your struggle… TMI?)

Finally, it’s important to not push yourself too hard.  This is a major flaw of mine and something that triggered the swelling in the first place.  So don’t be afraid to take your intensity and hard work down a notch.  Remind yourself that you are not being lazy by resting or being plum-freaking-worn-out, but that your body is working overtime to support and grow another human life.  So it’s OK if you take a break to do nothing but drink water and close your eyes.

How do you combat swelling, especially during pregnancy?  I’ve still got some time so I am willing to try it all, friends! 🙂

Linking up with the wonderful Kate in lieu of Hallie!


  1. Gah – the swell!!! I’m about to jump on the magnesium train myself. I don’t have any compression tights, but even just wearing tight leggings helps take some of the pressure off. I’m so grateful that my swelling is less this time around compared to last time but oh man, any amount isn’t fun! Hope yours ends soon – wink wink!

  2. Oh my! Lots of hugs, no advice.

    (From the lady who rubs her hub’s swollen feet –standing up too long and lifting things he shouldn’t lift are the culprits, there- with lots of ‘Sore Man Blend’ oil!)

  3. I didn’t swell too bad when I was pregnant last time. I’ve heard extra protein in your diet can help too. /I’m going to use these once as I get farther along. Is Lavender safe during pregnancy? I need to just ask my midwife, but I’ve been avoiding it because I wasn’t sure.

  4. Epsom, Essential Oil, and Enya. Don’t hold back. 🙂

    Sorry about the swelling. No fun at all.

    Thanks for linking up!!

  5. LaVonne Walter says:

    Love, love, love this post, Olivia. I am far from this problem (babies), but it works for the older jet set, too. lol Thanks for the details of this post, too.

Leave a Reply