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Swelling During Pregnancy

September 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Swelling During Pregnancy

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Image of the Pregnancy Pain Relief book

imageSwelling, also known as edema or water retention, occurs as a result of fluid accumulation. It is normal to have swelling during the later months of pregnancy.

Your body produces a minimum of 6 quarts of fluid during your pregnancy. The action of this fluid is to soften your body and your joints so that your hips can expand during childbirth.

Excess fluid often builds up in the hands, feet and ankles. As the weight of the uterus presses on the main arteries and veins it slows down your circulation. This allows blood to pool in your extremities, especially in the legs.

Preventing Swelling During Pregnancy

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
  • Avoid salty food, processed foods and fast food.
  • Wear full length support stockings . The half- length ones can cause more problems.
  • Keep off your feet as much as possible.
  • Lie down on your sides to take pressure off of your veins.
  • imageGo swimming.
  • Get adequate protein in your diet.
  • Don’t wear socks or stockings with tight bands around your calves or ankles. This can prevent good circulation.
  • Don’t cross your legs.
  • If you must sit for extended periods, take frequent breaks and short walks.
  • Elevate your feet above heart level.

When You Should Call Your Doctor

  • You are having facial swelling or more than just a little swelling in your hands.

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