“Feeling like you’re missing some water? It’s because I’m retaining it in my ankles.”
The temperature here in the mid-Atlantic has gone up and so has the size of my extremities. The combination of heat, humidity, and the third trimester have conspired to make me retain water in my hands, feet, and face. My wedding ring has taken up residence on a chain around my neck and I prop my feet up whenever I can to try and convince the fluid not to pool there.
It’s a losing battle, however. Swelling in pregnancy is incredibly common, with 50% of women likely experience it. Your whole body has a lot more fluid moving around to accommodate your greater needs for blood during pregnancy and a little swelling is usually nothing to worry about. Warm weather, spending too much time on your feet, or eating too much salt can add to the issue as well. It’s not pretty and can occasionally get uncomfortable but it’s usually harmless.
Sudden or excessive swelling can be an indication of serious health problems so please talk to your doctor if you experience this or if you have any questions at all about whether your swelling is normal.
I’ve got one of those bodies that will hang on to fluids at the least provocation, even when I’m not pregnant. Put me on a plane, raise the temperature over 70, or let my hormones fluctuate a little bit and POOF! Puffy fingers and ankles. It’s not cute and I don’t enjoy the sensation so I’ve compiled this list of some strategies to minimize the swelling:
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