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ankles swelling... pre-eclampsia or paranoid?

(26 Posts)
cravingcake Mon 12-Sep-11 15:15:41

I'm 32+5 and probably just being paranoid but yesterday and today I've noticed my ankles and feet swell a lot. At the point where shoes that I put on at start of day (trainers or slip ons) are tight and have had to come off. Hands and face are not affected and I've not done anything different to what I'd normally do.

While I'm aware that this is a possible sign of pre-eclampsia I'm wondering when/if I should call the midwife. How quickly does this come on? I've no problem calling midwife to check but I dont want to bother them yet if its not really anything and think I should perhaps watch this for a day or two before getting worried and calling..... any advice please (even if its just to tell me to stop being paranoid!).

I should mention its nearly impossible to get through to my midwife, and the only other number I have is labour ward. Oh, and my next appointment is in 2 weeks with a consultant.

iWILLdothis Mon 12-Sep-11 15:57:44

Snap! I just came on here to ask pretty much the same thing. 34wks and have terribly swollen ankles all weekend, but I have a headache to go along with it too. Wish there was a way of checking blood pressure ourselves at home. This morning, I made a MW appointment for Fri, was the soonest I could get. Saturday they were swollen when it was really warm and I had been on my feet for quite a long time preparing stuff in the kitchen, so I dismissed that, but yesterday was the same and I did NOTHING but rest all day and they were still hugely swollen....and this headache just won't budge.
So...sorry I'm not answering your question, but this will bump the thread for you and hopefully someone'll be along soon with the answers!

hubbahubster Mon 12-Sep-11 16:07:03

Definitely get it checked out ASAP - go to the labour ward or A&E if you have to. BUT don't worry too much. My ankles and fingers swelled up gradually all pregnancy, and got noticeably worse in the last two months. I'm usually a size 5 and had to borrow my size 7 Mum's trainers the day before I delivered. No pre eclampsia - just water retention.

JeelyPiece Mon 12-Sep-11 16:08:45

It could be nothing but could be something... I had suddenly swollen ankles and feet towards the end of my pregnancy and called the labour ward, who had me in to get checked. I was fine but definitely did the right thing in calling them with my concerns.

Pre-eclampsia can come on quickly. If you develop swollen ankles/feet and/or hands and wrists (particularly after about 30 weeks) call the labour ward. If you have a headache too then of course even more reason to call. Better to be checked out unnecessarily than the alternative. Please do call the ward.

All the best to you both!

icravecheese Mon 12-Sep-11 16:27:25

I'm 35wks preg with my 3rd & since about 33wks have had days when my ankles resemble pigs trotters! My feet are definitely swollen/bigger as I put away my beloved flip-flops last wk & got out my converse trainers - which usually fit fine, but one trip doing the school run in them & my heels are all blistered so my feet are defo too big at the moment to wear them.

I have never had pre-eclampsia & perhaps I should be being a little more cautious about the swollen ankles than I am... but I personally haven't worried about my swollen ankles as they do go down over night if I sleep with my feet propped up on a couple of pillows. If I had headaches or swollen fingers too, or the swollen ankles didnt go down overnight, then I'd prob mention to midwife....but otherwise I'm not worrying about it - I have gotten swollen ankles in every pregnancy & just accept it as part of the glamour of pregnancY!

Sorry, that isnt overly helpful is it?! I expect it is just 3rd trimester fluid retention, but if you're really worried then do call midwife or labour ward, or perhaps visit your GP if midwife is difficult to get hold of - he could at least check your urine & do your blood pressure for you.

AlpinePony Mon 12-Sep-11 16:54:46

Iwilldothis I think you can get bp checked at chemist. Imo you can't wait. sad

Yes, pe can come on frighteningly quickly and I thought my fat ankles and feet were normal for late thirties heat and a month to go. Not so!

Don't mess with this, 'tis terrifying to discover your placenta is shutting down and killing your baby even though you feel 'fine'.

ttalloo Mon 12-Sep-11 16:54:55

Pre-eclampsia does come on very suddenly, but the swelling tends to be all over, not just feet and ankles. When I developed it (at 30+1), I couldn't put my shoes on in the morning, my face was swollen, and over the course of a weekend I had put on a stone, with another stone going on over the next four weeks. (I was not a pretty sight grin) And my blood pressure had gone through the roof when it had been a very nice 90/60.

But I would get checked out if I were you, simply because pre-eclampsia doesn't always present as a textbook case as mine did. It's very simple for them to test you - they just check your urine for proteins and take your blood pressure. It's far better to be on paranoid and safe side, than to assume it's just water retention and have to be rushed to hospital because it isn't.

Hope everything goes well for you, ladies.

ciwi Mon 12-Sep-11 17:00:42

Hi ladies, I don't mean to frighten you but it is always better to get checked than to have pre eclampsia and go undiagnosed. Can you go to a walk in centre? I did that and they checked my bp and urine for protien there and then.
jeely sorry to be pedantic but I really want to point out that pre eclampsia does not only occur after 30 weeks, I got it at 22 weeks and my symptom was swollen ankles so any type of swelling should be checked out at any stage of pregnancy really, Most likely to be nothing but always better safe than sorry x

PrettyCandles Mon 12-Sep-11 17:01:27

Anything that worries you during pregnancy is always worth checking out, and nobody will think you're a time-waster.

In my last pgcy I had terribly swollen feet and legs, yet my BP never went above normal. I found that standing for long times made them worse, and also too much rest. I know it sounds weird, but if I had a day's rest my legs swole worse than if I was on my feet all day. The onl thing that took the swelling down was gentle walking.

cravingcake Mon 12-Sep-11 17:01:32

Ok, I guess thats us told - Thank you everyone. Will make a phone call shortly.

ttalloo Mon 12-Sep-11 17:04:39

Let us know how you get on, cravingcake and Iwilldothis.

cravingcake Tue 13-Sep-11 10:51:03

I've had blood pressure & wee test at gp's, all is ok. Blood pressure is very slightly higher than it has been but they said nothing to worry about. Thank you everyone.

pinkytheshrinky Tue 13-Sep-11 11:17:53

oh that is great news - always best to get it checked and no one minds at all

and the shame... I remember wearing flip flops at the end of october!! more than anything i hate having fat feet!

iWILLdothis Tue 13-Sep-11 15:30:44

cravingcake I'm glad you're ok.
I did not go and get checked out because yesterday evening the headache disappeared after I ate something, must have been a hunger headache. (Not sure about the wknd though!) My ankles have improved also. Will definitely be keeping an eye on it all though, as alpinepony's description of the placenta shutting down is a scary thought....

cravingcake Tue 13-Sep-11 15:46:21

I went this morning as I had the morning off work anyway so for peace of mind I though it best just check. I know of 2 people who werent diagnosed properly and one had an emcs after going 2 weeks late and being told the labor ward was full so she couldnt go in to be induced but she insisted going in to have a check as she wasnt feeling great. She was in hospital for 8 days and has been so put off by her birth experience she is now considering not having any more kids. So I'm just a bit cautious about pre-eclampsia (and being late)... other things I'm more relaxed about.

iWILLdothis Sat 17-Sep-11 16:07:29

Thought I'd update. Had raised BP at MW app yest. She was concerned about it becasue I've had the headaches also. Since then I've also had visual disturbances (floaters) so have to go back in again on Monday for another check. No protein in urine though, so I'm trying not to get overly stressed about it.

AlpinePony Sat 17-Sep-11 16:17:45

Best of luck for Monday and try and get your feet up.

Ok, if it doesn't go well Monday, they're likely to admit you then and there, so get your bag packed tomorrow!

if they keep you in and you don't improve, they may choose to induce you. Make sure you know what an induction entails and that it might end in emcs.

On the plus side, you get to meet your gorgeous baby sooner! smile

cravingcake Sun 18-Sep-11 08:51:52

Good luck iwilldothis Try not to worry or stress & as alpine says be prepared just in case.

AlpinePony Sun 18-Sep-11 10:29:02

morning IWillDoThis - how are you feeling today?

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Sun 18-Sep-11 10:35:13

I was the same, but DID have pre-eclampsia from about 34wks, i was given an emergency section at 37+5 because of it's severity, and i was virtually symptomless,other than protein in urine, and high BP which i had no idea about, so always best to get these things checked, I was first in at the hospital at 36wks, and then allowed home every day but had too come back every 2 days, so just be prepared! All in all, if they are monitoring it, you're in safe hands, do not stress, it raises bp more ;)!!

iWILLdothis Sun 18-Sep-11 18:35:45

awww, thanks everyone for your concern. I'm still here! Last night after dinner I was seeing floaters again so called a friend who is a nurse and she came round to check my BP...totally normal, phew. So I didn't bother calling maternity ward. Saved having to find a babysitter for DD & potentially a few hours' wait at the hospital. This morning I woke up with a headache again but thankfully it disappeared after I'd eaten breakfast. I'm hanging onto the hope that it's not pre-eclampsia though, seeing as my urine is protein-free. Weird though that I'm getting all these other smptoms....
Baby must not come this week as we're (or rather DH!) is still painting a bedroom, there's a carpet still to be laid and the entire contents of the bedroom, furniture etc are scattered in various rooms in the house. And we have to move DD into the newly decorated room so new baby can have nursery......trying hard just to chill out and not stress!!

HappyHugs Sun 18-Sep-11 22:37:21

Check urine every day. I had symptoms like you with no sign of protein till 37 weeks which led to immediate induction and eventual emerg section. If you feel a sort of tightening 'band' around your chest that's another symptom so just be aware. If caught on time it just means you'll meet your baby sooner smile

AlpinePony Mon 19-Sep-11 07:31:04

IWillDothis Yep, it's weird all right, but that's what pregnancy does eh!? wink Good luck today, really hope things go OK. Of course baby must not come this week, I bet you haven't even arranged for the dogs to be looked after, or got in a month's supply of cat food/bog roll/cheese/coffee! grin As for the decorating? Pfffff!

pamplemousserose Mon 19-Sep-11 07:42:11

I cannot stress enough that if you have these symptoms it is essential you have your bp checked asap. Pre eclampsia can be fatal for you and your baby.

kblu Mon 19-Sep-11 08:38:07

Usually swollen ankles and feet are a very common symptom of late pregnancy. In my case it was a symptom of pre-eclampsia but because I had no other symptoms other than my BP rising and falling it was just put down to one of those common symptoms. My feet went from a size 5 to a size 8 and I could hardly walk. I developed severe PE at 40+10 and in hindsight I definitely think this was a warning sign. The problem is until there is protein in your urine you won't get a diagnosis of PE. Just be aware it can come on extremely suddenly like mine did.

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