8 Ways To Prevent Swelling During Pregnancy

Jan 27, 2011 No Comments by
Your belly’s not the only thing that’s swelling these days. That puff mama look often extends to the extremities, too. And although all that swelling’s not so swell—especially as your shoes & watch get uncomfortably tight and your rings become harder & harder to pry off your fingers—mild swelling (akaedema) of the ankles, feet, & hands is completely normal, related to the necessary increase in body fluids in pregnancy. In fact, 75 percent of women develop such swelling at some point in their pregnancies, usually around this point (the other 25 percent never notice any at all, which is normal, too). As you’ve probably already noticed,the puffiness is likely to be more pronounced late in the day, in warm weather, or after spending  too much time sitting or standing. In fact,you may find that much of the swelling disappears overnight or after several hours spent lying down (another good reason to get that rest).
Generally, this type of swelling means nothing more than a little discomfort— and  a few fashion compromises if you can no longer squeeze your ankles into stylish shoes. Still,you”ll want to finds ways to deflate, if you can. To spell swell relief, keep these tips mind:
1.Stay off your feet and off your butt. If long periods of standing or sitting are part of your job description—at home or at the office— take periodic breaks. Have a seat if you’ve been standing, and  get up if you’ve been sitting. Or for best results, take a brisk 5-minute walk to rev up your circulation (which should get those pooled fluids flowing).
2.Put ‘ em up—your legs,that is. Elevate them when you’re sitting. If anyone deserves to put her feet up, it’s you.
3.Get some rest on your side. If you’re not already in the side-lying habit, time to try it now. Lying on your side helps keep your kidneys working at peak efficiency, enhancing waste elimination and reducing swelling.
4. Choose comfort. Now’s the time to make a comfort statement, not a fashion statement. Favor shoes that are accommodating (those slinky slingbacks don’t fit now, anyway), and once home, switch to soft slippers.
5. Move it. Keeping up your exercise routine (if your practitioner has green lighted one) will actually keep down the swelling. Walking (you’ll probably soon call it wadding) is swell for swollen feet since it’ll keep the blood flowing instead of pooling. Swimming or water aerobics are even better because the water pressure pushes tissue fluid back into your veins; from there it goes into your kidneys, after which you’ll b able to pee it out.
6.Wash away that water weight. Though it sounds counterintuitive, it’s true: The more water you drink, the less you’ll retain. Drinking at least eight to ten 8-ounces glasses of liquid a day will help your system flush out waste products. Restricting fluid intake, on the other (puffy) hand, will not decrease swelling.
7. Use salt to taste. It used to be believed that salt restrictions would help keep the swelling down, but it is now known that limiting salt increases swelling. So salt to taste, but as with everything, moderation is key.
8. Get the support you need. Support hose may not be sexy, but they’re very effective in relieving swelling. Several types are available for pregnancy wear, including full panty hose (with roomy tummy space) and knee- or thigh-highs (which are at least cooler to wear), though avoid those with tight elastic tops.
The good news about edema, besides that it’s normal, is that it’s temporary. You can look forward to your ankles deflating and your fingers depuffing soon after you give birth. In the meantime, look on the bright side: Pretty soon your belly will be so big, you won’t even be able to see how swollen your feet are.
If your swelling seems to be more than mild, talk to your practitioner. Excessive swelling can be one sign of preeclampsia, but when it is, it’s accompanied by a variety of other symptoms (such as sudden excessive and unexplained weight gain, elevated blood pressure, and protein in the urine). If your blood pressure and urine are normal, there’s nothing to be concerned about. If, along with your swelling, you’ve suddenly and inexplicably gained a lot of weight in a short time, or if you’re experiencing severe headaches or vision disturbances, call your practitioner and describe what’s going on.

From Conception To Delivery, Nine Months And Counting, The Seventh Month
No Responses to “8 Ways To Prevent Swelling During Pregnancy”

Leave a Reply