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Swollen ankles: why and what to do about it

Ankle and hand swelling is (unfortunately) a super normal feature of pregnancy. It’s usually down to the big changes in hormones, specifically oestrogen, which make you retain water more than normal.

Some easy changes can help to manage swelling:

  1. Drinking more water (counter intuitive, we know)
  2. Avoiding standing up for a long time
  3. Lying down with your feet raised for about an hour a day

Swollen ankles can be particularly difficult to manage if you’re heavily pregnant during the summer, so plan ahead, work from home if possible, and invest in some comfortable footwear.

Ankle swelling is normally nothing to worry about. But it can also be a sign of a condition called pre-eclampsia, which usually affects women anywhere from the 20 week mark to after they’ve given birth. The earlier pre-eclampsia is diagnosed, the better it can be monitored or treated. Alongside swollen ankles, headaches, visual disturbance and upper abdominal pain are all symptoms of pre-eclampsia, so speak to your midwife or GP asap if you’re experiencing any of these.