At home pre-natal foot massage? Yes please!

Jennifer O'Leary
Jul 24 · 3 min read

Your guide to foot love if you’re preggers (or if you’re not!)

At almost 38 weeks pregnant during a North American July summer, I’ve been fairly lucky in the foot swelling department. It only took until a few weeks ago for my feet to look like I sprained my ankle back in university trying to gallantly leap off of a cinder block. Oh how I’ve matured.

I’ve always been a BIG fan of massages, physical therapy, acupuncture, you name it. Unfortunately, I tend to run out of my work benefits in February leaving me either high and dry for the rest of the year, or left to my own devices.

Enter: Jen’s DIY Foot Love Program For Really Swollen Feet When You’re Pregnant

I’ll be starting a Masterclass next week for those who are interested in the full course (just kidding). So these are some tricks that I’ve tested on my own, but if you’re in any serious pain I suggest checking in with your doctor or physical therapist. Without further ado, here they are:

1. LOTION IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

If you’re slathering your beautiful baby belly every night with cream or oil, make it a ritual and bring said liquid to bed to complete the following:

  • Sit upright with legs in butterfly (knees are out with soles of feet facing each other)
  • Grab onto each squishy foot with your fingers wrapped around the top of your foot and your thumb on your in placed between ankle and heel
  • Start kneading with your thumbs into any sore, swollen or tender (I dislike the word tender but it fits the image) places on your feet
  • Don’t be afraid to knead out the tops of your feet and move some of the fluid around

2. WHEN IN DOUBT, ICE IT OUT

Getting home after a long day of work is likely when your feet will be at their prime swelling time. Take two minutes and get thee into an icy shower! No need to go full body, just stick your feet in there and breathe a sigh of relief.

3. PUT THOSE GOLF BALLS IN THE JUNK DRAWER TO GOOD USE

When watching tv, playing with your kids, or staring at the wall, take a golf ball (or any hard-ish ball or foam roller if you have one) and roll the arches of your feet over the hard surface. This might be painful at first but the more you do it, the more the tissues in the foot will relax and you can get that fluid moving around. Plus it feels darn good.

4. ELEVATE FEET DAY AND NIGHT

At work? Put a box under your desk. At home? Kick up your feet. In bed? Elevate your feet on a pillow. Nighttime is especially a critical time to reset and rest your feet. You’ll notice the mornings are the least puffy time.

5. TOE STRETCHERS (YES THEY’RE A THING)

Today was a very special day for me — my toe stretchers from Amazon arrived. It’s about the little things in life, right? I’ve been experiencing plantar fasciitis during my pregnancy, hence my whole DIY foot care experimentation.

Pregnant or not, toe stretchers are an easy and inexpensive way to help relieve foot pain and prevent future foot related problems such as plantar fasciitis, varicose veins, cramping, bunions, you name it. By separating each of the toes (think a sturdier version of what’s used to keep your toes apart during a pedicure), the muscles and ligaments are stretched, allowing for better alignment of the feet. This, in turn, can help improve posture and foot alignment when walking. Recommended wearing approx. 15 minutes each day.

I’d say that’s enough self-care foot tips to leave you with. I’m sure you have enough on your plate being pregnant and all. Enjoy!

Jennifer O'Leary

Written by

Jen is a pilates and yoga instructor, digital content writer, wife, soon-to-be mama bear, early riser and Disney princess fan.

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