Tips to Minimize Water-Retention and Swelling

If you follow me on twitter, you might have seen this little gem last weekend:

“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:

  • Drink Plenty of Fluids 1 of 8
    Drink Plenty of Fluids
  • Avoid Too Much Salt 2 of 8
    Avoid Too Much Salt
  • Snack on Fruit 3 of 8
    Snack on Fruit
    Fruit is such an awesome pregnancy snack. With all the vitamins and fiber it helps with overall health and promotes good digestion. And the water in fruit is good for swelling. I've been gorging on watermelon and mango lately — perfect cool treats for hot weather!
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Wear Support Stockings 4 of 8
    Wear Support Stockings
    My affection for the compression stockings I bought earlier in this pregnancy cannot be overstated. Supportive socks or stockings promote good circulation and help reduce ankle bloat.
  • Soak in Epsom Salts 5 of 8
    Soak in Epsom Salts
    I asked my doctor if she had any suggestions to reduce swelling, and she said soaking my feet in a bath of Epsom salts could help with drawing out excess fluid but she seemed only lukewarm on the idea. I haven't tried it myself so I can't vouch for it.
    Purchase some at CVS
  • Stay Cool 6 of 8
    Stay Cool
    The hot weather is not your friend while you're pregnant. Stay in the shade or in the A/C if you can and keep time in the heat to a minimum.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Sit Down and Put Your Feet Up 7 of 8
    Sit Down and Put Your Feet Up
    Don't overdo it or stand up too long. Give yourself breaks to sit down and prop up your feet a bit. Drink some water while you're at it!
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Get a Foot Rub 8 of 8
    Get a Foot Rub
    Is there any scientific evidence that this will help? No idea, but it's a good excuse to get your partner to rub your feet! Baby Center suggests a light massage only if your skin isn't so swollen that touch is painful. Or, better yet, treat yourself to a pedicure!
    Photo Credit: photo stock


Article Posted 5 years Ago

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