Jessica Simpson’s Severe Pregnancy Swelling is All of Us

If you've ever been pregnant, then chances are, you can probably relate to the image I'm about to show you. Ready? Here it goes:

Image via Instagram/ @jessicasimpson

That lovely picture of a real-life swollen pregnant foot and ankle (a pankle?) comes to us courtesy of the one and only Jessica Simpson, who is currently thought to be due somewhere near April. A due date of April would put Jessica somewhere near her 8th month of pregnancy, which is definitely prime time for pregnancy swelling. I mean, if I'm being honest, I start swelling up during pregnancy practically as soon as I pee on a stick, so when I see someone as famous and gorgeous as Jessica Simpson sharing her real-life pregnancy moments, it helps make me feel just a teensy bit better. 

{ MORE: Is Meghan Markle Ready to Be a Mom? Let's Look at the Evidence }

Why her pregnancy swelling matters

Jessica's pregnant, miserable, swollen feet may not seem like that big of a deal and in the grand scheme of things, they aren't, but let me tell you what: to a new mom or a struggling mom, it matters. So often, pregnancy is painted as this wonderful, magical thing that you can just breeze through with nary a swollen ankle in sight in the world of celebrities. And if you're a mom who is struggling in her pregnancy, you may feel even worse looking at celebrity moms who barely have a bump or “bounce back” faster than my kids' attempt at a goal during soccer. But real-life snippets of pregnancy from moms like Jessica help show us that honestly, pregnancy doesn't discriminate and even all the money in the world sometimes can't stop a pregnant swollen ankle. 

I mean, just look at it! If that's not a true pregnancy ailment, I don't know what is. Honestly, one of the things that has always bugged me the most about celebrity pregnancies is how they don't seem to get any swelling anywhere and I don't understand it. For example, Meaghan Markle, the Duchess of whatever-she-is-now, is currently traipsing about her Royal duties in four-inch heels with nary a speck of swelling to be found and it makes no sense to me. Even with my first kid, at the ripe age of 22 when I was actually young and skinny, I swelled to epic proportions. Is it like a gene that some women are just lucky enough to have? Is it the same one that causes some women to have morning sickness and others to skip right over that particular part of pregnancy? Ugh, some things are just not fair in life. 

Jessica's comment section was filled with all kinds of advice from her helpful fans and followers about how to address the swelling. Commenters suggested everything from magnesium powder (um, putting my nurse hat on here for a minute to say you should definitely talk to your doctor or midwife before taking anything during pregnancy) to using ginger and coffee grounds as a scrub (actually, that sounds quite delightful, pregnant or not). 

{ MORE: These Very First Pregnancy Signs Can Happen Before Your Missed Period }

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In the end, after all of the suggestions from her fans, however, Jessica went with something a little more unorthodox: cupping. You may be familiar with cupping thanks to Michael Phelps and its infamous use of the practice after the Olympics. Cupping is said to have a lot of benefits, like improving circulation to the skin, breaking up fascia for muscle recovery, stimulating nerves, and decreasing chronic pain, but the science and actual studies on the practice are limited and somewhat conflicted. 

According to her Instagram page, Jessica deployed the method to help bring down the swelling in her feet — and it worked! She showed off a new picture after her first shocking swelling to reveal a new, shapely, mostly swelling-free foot and ankle. If you're thinking about trying cupping to relieve some of your pregnancy swelling, you should know that in general, cupping is considered safe for pregnancy, although it is recommended that women avoid cupping anywhere near the abdomen area. It's also recommended that pregnant women only use light cupping techniques and avoid anything too strenuous. As always, be sure to check with your doctor before trying anything new during your pregnancy, including cupping, and if you choose to have it done, go with a licensed provider. 

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Jessica Simpson’s Severe Pregnancy Swelling is All of Us

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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