How to Relieve Swollen Feet During Pregnancy

By Stacey Feintuch
Reviewed by Alyssa Quimby, M.D.
February 27, 2023

Your favorite cute sneakers no longer fit. Your go-to comfortable sandals are snugger than you remember. Then you look down and see what’s going on—your feet are huge. Don’t worry; it’s normal for feet to swell during pregnancy.

Swelling can happen anytime during pregnancy and doesn’t happen to everyone. “Typically, it occurs during the third trimester when body volume is increasing,” says Cheruba Prabakar, M.D., a board-certified ob-gyn who practices in Oakland, California. She said it most often occurs at the end of the third trimester, around 36 weeks, when you’re almost ready to deliver. “But it’s not something everyone has to expect. It doesn’t happen for everyone.”

Why Do Feet Swell During Pregnancy?

The swelling in your feet is partly caused by your weight gain and the fact that your body retains more fluid when you’re pregnant. Plus, your growing uterus is getting larger and larger, putting pressure on your veins. That gets in the way of blood returning to your heart, says Abdulla Al-Khan, M.D., a double board-certified ob-gyn at Hackensack Meridian Health in Hackensack, New Jersey.