Coping With Cankles

To reduce swelling in your feet. Lie on the floor with your feet up on the couch. Make lazy circles with your feet to help your muscles circulate your blood and lymph (the fluid that’s causing the swelling). If lowering to the ground and getting up again is uncomfortable at this stage of pregnancy, even sitting with your feet on an ottoman can help.

To reduce swelling in your hands. Raise your arms above your head and make slow circles at the wrist, alternating directions. When you feel like you can’t do anymore, lay your forearms across the top of your head and rest for a few breaths. Then, bring your arms down in front of you, palms facing up. Slide the inside edge of your left forearm along your right arm, from the crease of your wrist to the elbow, and then from elbow to shoulder. Repeat with your right arm.

While some water retention is perfectly normal, excessive swelling that doesn’t go away if you elevate your legs for an hour should be reported to your doctor.