summer survival guideswollen ankles pregnantI have swollen ankles, and not just now that I am pregnant. Cankles are not cute. I've tried everything and it's just a fact I have to live with, but I do notice it getting a bit worse -- a baby on the way and the summer heat will do it.

Ankle and feet swelling can happen anytime during pregnancy, but most common in third trimester. We've got baby weight, our center of gravity has changed, and a lot of times there is fluid retention, giving your lower portions more pressure. This slows circulation, making your tissues swell -- it's called edema.

I talked to my OBGYN for some advice on how to keep the swelling down. She offered me these tips (plus a few more I added in). I hope they work for us! Note: If you are worried about excessive swelling, talk to your doctor.

  • Drink lots of water. Already good for mama-to-be, but if your body doesn't get enough H2O, it stores the water it does have, which could cause water retention.
  • Don't sit with your legs crossed. I literally just uncrossed mine when writing that -- it's such a habit.
  • Go for a walk to get the blood flowing.
  • Elevate feet whenever you can.
  • Sleep on your left side. This helps your heart and major blood vessels circulate more blood.
  • Avoid salt.
  • When seated, rotate your ankles, wiggle toes, point and flex feet -- give your tootsies a little workout.
  • Soak feet in cold water for 15 minutes. 
  • Ask your honey for a foot massage.

Do you have swollen ankles and feet? Have any other tips to add?