Being pregnant, you probably already feel large but adding swelling on top of that can be extremely uncomfortable. Some swelling can even start hurting if not taken care of. During pregnancy, it is most common to start showing signs of swelling by the end of the 2nd trimester.
This swelling is called edema. It is usually located in your hands, feet, legs and face.
Swelling is extremely common in pregnancy. Here are a couple of helpful tips to reduce your edema while pregnant. However, you should always check with a doctor to make sure you do not have preeclampsia or other health conditions.
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How To Reduce Swelling While Pregnant
Drinking lots of water while pregnant is extremely important. It helps you have more energy and will help reduce your swelling. By drinking more water you are eliminating fluid retention in your body. I know… more water equals more trips to the bathroom. That is true but it is one of the main things to help your swollen hands and feet. The rule is to drink half your body weight in ounces.
By adding fresh lemons or lemon juice to your water, is a great way to keep swelling down. Don’t mistake lemonade for lemon juice. Lemonade is fine every once in a while but may contain extra sugars that you are wanting to avoid. You can also make your own by using lemon juice and stevia.
I found this was the best way for me. On a hot days, I would add lemon juice to my ice water, to keep swelling to a minimum. It also helped me drink all the water I was supposed to be drinking throughout the day. Plain water can sometimes be boring so adding lemons and sometimes strawberries in a diffuser, really helped me.
Reduce Your Salt Intake
Too much salt may increase your swelling. Try to not exceed the recommended maximum amount of salt in a day, which is 2,300 milligrams. Salt is an important part of everyone’s diet, just make sure that you are not eating too much of it in a day.
Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Having too much caffeine may increase swelling. So try limiting the amount of caffeine your drink in a day.
To read more about limiting caffeine during pregnancy read here.
Avoid Refined Foods
Try to eat more whole foods and stay away from processed and refined foods like white flour, rice, and pasta.
I found that I would have more swelling throughout the day if I had white bread, pasta, or cereal.
When you do have bread, try opting for whole wheat and whole grains instead of white flour.
You may feel like you need to do everything before the baby is born but… you need to rest! By working too hard and being on your feet all the time, your swelling will just increase. While you are resting, try to elevate your feet. Relax and kick your feet up. Even just for a time period of 15 minutes periodically throughout the day.
Make sure that when you sit down, you don’t cross your legs too.
Walking And Exercise
I know I just said to relax but walking and exercise is just as important.
- Take a walk outside
- Take a walk on the treadmill
- Use a pregnancy home workout/yoga/pilates DVD
- A local pregnancy workout/yoga/pilates class
Through everything, listen to your body, if you don’t feel well or have enough energy … rest.
Include more potassium in your diet. Here is a list of potassium rich foods and drinks:
- Sweet Potatoes or Yams
- White Beans
- Coconut Water
- Leafy greens like: cooked Beet greens, Swiss Chard, Watercress, Brussel Sprouts, Endive
- Baked Potatoes (The key word is baked. French fries and potato chips don’t count, much to everyone’s dismay. 😉
- Squash: ex. Pumpkin, Acorn squash, Butternut squash
- Dried Apricots
The Right Clothes and Shoes
Wear comfortable shoes that give you support. Avoid high heels. Usually those aren’t such a good idea anyways because they can hurt your back in pregnancy and it can be quite the balancing act.
Compression socks or stockings are made to help with swelling. There are those that look like regular socks and some are open toe.
Try to stay away from clothing that is too tight around your wrists and ankles.
Soak Your Feet
Soaking your feet in some Epsom salts, pregnancy bath salts, or another pregnancy safe foot soak can help reduce fluid retention. Set time every once in a while to give yourself some pamper time and enjoy a good foot soak.
Avoid Too Much Heat
Try to stay out of the heat of summer and the heater or fireplace in winter time. You may have noticed this already, when you have gone outside in the heat for even 10 minutes and you look down at your hands and feet to see them swollen.
I had the wonderful timing of having the end of my pregnancy’s during the hotter months of June and July. With the heat, a mommy can get extremely swollen while pregnant.
Get A Massage
You can either hire someone to give you a prenatal massage or ask your husband to massage your feet at the end of the day. You may also want to check with your health insurance provider to see if prenatal massage is covered under your plan. A full body massage or a foot massage will really help improve circulation.
With my first baby, I didn’t know any of this information and ended up having very swollen everything it seemed. My wedding ring didn’t fit and I had to buy new shoes, 2 sizes larger than what I regularly wore! Sigh…. Overall, I felt like a very puffy and large mama walking around. Thankfully with my second baby I knew a lot more on how to combat my swelling.
Hopefully you found a couple ways to reduce your swelling while pregnant. Make sure to pin, like, retweet ,and share; for reading later and for other mommies that are struggling with edema during their pregnancy too.
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