A woman’s body produces approximately 50% more blood and body fluids during pregnancy to meet the needs of the developing baby. These fluids soften the body and enable it to expand or swell as the baby develops. Swelling during the pregnancy, or edema, is common and is experienced in the hands, face, legs, ankles, and feet.
Although you can’t completely stop swelling, here are 6 remedies for reducing the severity of it during pregnancy:
- Don’t stand for too long
Standing or even sitting with your feet flat on the ground can cause edema to worsen. This is because the growing pressure on your veins hinders the return of blood to your heart. Therefore pregnant women must avoid standing or sitting for too long. If you must stand, take small sitting breaks. Also, make sure to wear comfortable shoes during pregnancy. Tight shoes or heels can cause edema to worsen.
- Elevate your legs
Putting your feet up while resting can help you find relief from swelling in pregnancy. Not only does it help you relax, it can also make it easier for your body to circulate blood and fluids. For best results, elevate your feet above your heart and just be comfortable. You can also elevate your legs slightly with pillows while sleeping.
- Eat a balanced diet
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet reduces swelling and pains during pregnancy. Ensure that you eat more portions of fruits and vegetables; maximize your intake of Vitamin C and Vitamin E; and reduce excessive intake of salt, sugar and fats. You should also try to avoid pre-packaged foods and processed foods during pregnancy.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing
Tight clothes, especially those around wrists, arms, or ankles can cause extreme discomfort if you have swelling from edema. Wear loose and natural fiber clothing to move comfortably. Clothes designed specifically for pregnancy are more comfortable and less constricting. Loose, smooth textured clothing such as cotton can prevent overheating and excess sweating.
- Apply cold compress
Cold helps to reduce blood flow to areas with swelling. It can also provide some comfort and reduce swelling. You can place a cold compress on swollen areas for 10 to 15 minutes once every two hours for relief. To know more, talk to the experts and KIMS Cuddles.
- Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to flush out any excess fluid from the body. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to help support your pregnancy and minimize edema. Avoid sugary drinks, especially soda and processed fruit juices and stick to water to stay hydrated.
Speak to your doctor if you notice a sudden increase in swelling or edema. The doctors at KIMS Cuddles can check you for underlying conditions such as high blood pressure or preeclampsia, and advise proper treatment.
*The opinions expressed in this article are not to be substituted for medical advice under any circumstance