Water retention is a
common complaint and can be a discomfort throughout pregnancy. It is because
during this period a woman’s body produces 50% more blood and body fluid. Read
on to learn about how much of this is normal and what you should do to cope
with the discomfort.
though common in pregnancy, is due to extra blood and fluid generation inside
the body and the strain that is put on the circulatory system. You will find
that during your third
trimester, you not only find that your bump is increasing in size,
but also your legs might begin to feel tight and
Fluid retention is also because during pregnancy,
hormones upset all the normal balances of the body, disturbing the levels of
sodium and potassium which leads your body to retain more fluid because it is
unable to expel or absorb it.
It seems like my feet are growing. Is it
No. It is the fluid
retention in your body that causes feet and hands to swell. Due to hormonal
changes, all the joints in your body are relaxing including the feet. After
delivery, although they return to normal, there is a chance that you might need
a size larger. Orthotic shoes, or shoes designed to correct your distorted
centre of gravity are now available. Elasticized slippers are also known to
My ankles are
The necessary increase in
body fluids causes mild edema. Close to 75% of women go through this at some
point in their pregnancy. It almost always happens later in the day or even in
warm weather. Relief can be found on elevating your legs or after a few hours
of lying down on your left side. Support tights also help. You could try
flushing out your system by drinking 8 glasses of water to ease out the water
retention. If your hands and face also begin to swell, notify your doctor
When to reach out for medical
Although swelling or fluid
retention is not an alarming condition for a pregnant woman, if it comes all of
a sudden or is accompanied with headache,
blurred vision, painful urination, abdominal pain, cramping, bleeding, absence
of urination for long hours or significant weight gain, you should immediately
contact your doctor.
Swelling due to high blood pressure or
gestational diabetes also needs close medical observation.
Ways to Reduce Discomfort Due to Fluid
Avoid clothes that are tight on
wrists and ankles. This will keep the circulation proper and hence swelling can
Avoid spending time outdoors when
temperature is high. Heat is one of the main contributors of pregnancy
swelling. If you are working in a place that is hot, try to cool down at
Wear comfortable shoes, avoid high
heels. Apply cooling and moisturizing gel on your feet at the end of the day to
help you feel good. Make sure the massage is light and is done
Do not stand or sit in one place
Rest with feet elevated. Even if
you are working, rest your feet on a small stool.
You can use ice packs or cold
compressions in swollen areas.
Wear support stockings or tights
to ease the discomfort of swelling in your legs. Support socks help reduce
swelling in ankle and promote circulation of blood.
Eating right food like reducing
coffee or sodas and eating more bananas will help. Some changes in eating
habits can also help you avoid fluid retention. Including onion, garlic, mint,
eggplants and celery can also turn out helpful.
Resting often is important and
will help reduce fluid retention.
Exercise of any kind that is
recommended for pregnant women can be helpful. Walking
is recommended, just make sure you walk on even ground and avoid fast
Avoid long days of
Rest in a tub of cool water. The
coolness of water will reduce any uncomfortable swelling.
Minimize your salt intake and try
not to take additional salt in your food.
Drink sufficient amount of water
so that the fluid retained in the body gets flushed out in natural way. Do not
leave yourself dehydrated at any cost. This might lead to other problems
Snack on fresh fruits. They have
vitamins and nutrients that help with overall health and also promote good
Take some cabbage leaves and put
in the fridge for some time. Take them out and put them on your ankle and
bandage it. It will relieve you from swelling to a great
Fluid retention at moderate level can be
prevented with the help of above tips. If you see swelling in your fingers and
hands, take out your ring and bangle so that they do not get stuck. If you are
particularly uncomfortable, ask your doctor or midwife for further
What are the causes of fluid
retention during pregnancy? How to prevent fluid retention during pregnancy?
How to deal with fluid retention during pregnancy? Discuss
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- The Indiaparenting Team