Pregnancy body worries: cankles, stretch marks and more
In this article


Swollen ankles are common in pregnancy, due to extra water retention and poor circulation. The medical term for the condition is edema, but it’s nicknamed ‘cankles’ because it can be difficult to tell where the calf ends and the ankle begins!

The pressure of your uterus on your pelvic veins can also slow down the movement of blood around your legs, causing it to pool around your ankles.

Mum of three Lisa Durbin was cursed with cankles during pregnancy:

‘I had Hobbit Feet (minus the hair) and the only shoes I could wear were flipflops - in February!’

Lisa’s midwife recommended a high protein / low carbohydrate diet, which helped reduce the swelling, and had the added bonus of lessening her heartburn.

Personal trainer to the stars, Dan Roberts ( agrees that exercise and diet can help keep cankles at bay. ‘Staying active, taking the stairs, and doing slow lunges or squats with feet pointed outwards can reduce swelling.’

Try these for swollen ankles (Cankles):

Thalgo Feather-Light Leg Gel 150ml, £4.88 - Click to buy from
  Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Leg Relief Massage Lotion, £4.88 - available from

Image: © M. TOURAINE (RF)-PIXLAND / Jupiterimages



Parenting Editor
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