8 Useful Tips to Reduce Swelling During Pregnancy

In medical terminology, the swelling of ankles and feet is called Edema (or Oedema). During pregnancy, one thing that may scare or unsettle a pregnant woman is swelling. This condition is mainly seen on the ankles and feet, and sometimes on the face and hands. Swelling is a normal occurrence during the nine months of pregnancy, and about 75% of women experience it. It could start from the first month and last till the 9th month, it could also happen anytime from the third trimester. Pregnancy symptoms vary in women.

Causes Of Swelling

During pregnancy, there is a 50 % increase in the production of blood and other fluids in your body which are necessary to meet the needs of your growing baby. The increase in the size of the uterus causes pressure on the veins and restricts blood flow to the heart. This may cause swelling in your legs, ankle and feet. Other times, it is as a result of the obvious hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. This is very important because it softens the body and helps the skin to expand or stretch. It however might get “worse” as the baby grows and your uterus expands.

Remember that swelling is very normal in pregnancy. It can however be something to worry about if there is puffiness in the face and around the eyes, fingers, feet and ankles and especially if the swollen areas have become more painful. This could be a symptom of preeclampsia and can be quite serious. One should seek immediate medical attention if one leg is more swollen than the other, and is accompanied with pain in the thigh and calf which might be due to blood clotting. Abnormal swelling also in the wrists and hands could be a symptom of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which constricts the nerves towards your arms.

Tips to avoid or help reduce swelling

1. Don’t stand or sit for too long. If you have to sit somewhere for a period of time, take short breaks in between, and try not to cross your legs as this increases pressure in the legs, promoting more swelling.

2. Sleep on your left side and not the right, especially as your pregnancy grows. There is less pressure on the vein that carries blood to your heart from the lower part of your body. Keep your legs elevated with the help of a support or pillow. It will help in minimizing pain and swelling to quite an extent.

3. Due to the increase in weight, your feet not only swell but expand. This will be a good time to find a very comfortable pair of shoes. Athletic shoes with fillers are recommended at this time because they support your feet and even help reduce back pain.

4. Cut out junk foods and processed foods. Opt for fresh foods, vegetables and a balanced diet.

5. Always stay hydrated. Even without pregnancy, water helps to flush out unnecessary toxins and stored up fluid from the body

6. Avoid tight shoes, socks,  and leggings. Anything that will put undue pressure to the lower part of your body.

7. Exercise. There is no better time to indulge in exercise than pregnancy. This enables seamless blood flow to every part of your body.

8. Treat your self to some therapy. Engage in massages, go to a spa if it is affordable or have your husband massage your feet or ankles.

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“8 Useful Tips to Reduce Swelling During Pregnancy”

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