Yes, swelling is a real and unglamorous part of pregnancy. At Joy of Life®, we are your partners. We want you to know the reasons and what you can do to make yourself more comfortable.
What Is Pregnancy Swelling?
Believe it or not, by the time you give birth, your body will be pumping almost 50% more blood and fluids around your body. You and the baby need all this extra fluid. You need the extra blood to feed the baby through the placenta. Your soft tissue needs the excess fluid to expand with the baby, and your pelvis needs extra fluid to remain flexible and prepare to give birth. While all this fluid is doing important things, it can find its way into your feet, ankles, and legs.
Call your healthcare provider immediately if you experience a sudden swelling in your hands or face. These symptoms can be a sign of a serious condition called preeclampsia.
But for most women, swelling is just an inconvenience. Joy of Life® wants to make sure you have the strategies to blast that bloat.
How to Get Relief from Pregnancy Swelling
1. Get Off Those Feet
While walking can be healthy, standing around for long periods will cause your feet and ankles to swell. Try to sit whenever possible.
2. Put Your Feet Up
With all that extra fluid, gravity is not your friend. Whenever possible, put your feet up. Make sure that they are at least as high as your hips to prevent fluid from pooling in your feet and ankles.
3. Watch the Temperature
Swelling becomes worse when you are over-heated. Try to stay cool as much as possible. If you must be outdoors in the summer heat, try to rest in a shaded area or a pool.
4. Cut the Salt and Caffeine
Both salt and that extra cup of coffee will help you hold fluids. Ditch the offenders for low salt and caffeine-free options.
5. Drink Lots of Water
It might seem like drinking lots of fluids will make holding fluids worse. But drinking water actually helps your body flush out unnecessary fluids. And, water is both salt and caffeine-free.
6. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Heels are lovely. But, most designer shoes aren’t designed to expand with your feet. So ditch the stilettos for supportive lace-up shoes. Not only do they offer more support, but they will also expand with your feet.
These simple steps can help bring the Joy of Life® back into your feet and ankles.