Swelling during pregnancy | Pregnancy Birth and Baby
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Most women get swollen ankles and feet while pregnant. It’s natural to have concerns about swelling since it can be uncomfortable, make your shoes tighter and possibly make you feel embarrassed. Knowing what to look for and how best to manage it can help you stay as comfortable as possible.
Why do women experience swelling during pregnancy?
There are 3 main reasons women experience swelling while pregnant.
Throughout pregnancy, you produce more blood than usual to help your baby grow.
As the baby grows, your uterus presses on and slightly blocks the veins that return blood from your legs to your heart.
Your hormones make the walls of your veins softer, which makes it harder for them to work properly.
For these reasons, your blood tends to pool in your legs. There, a small amount of blood leaks through tiny blood vessels into the tissues and produces the swelling you can see and feel.
Where and when will I get swelling?
The swelling should be only in your feet and ankles. Your fingers might get a little larger — enough to make any rings feel tight — but they shouldn't be obviously swollen.
Your feet and ankles are likely to swell later in the day. This is mainly due to gravity — any extra fluid in your body will sink to your feet and ankles, especially if you spend a lot of time on your feet.
Swelling is also more likely to happen later in your pregnancy.
Gradual swelling isn't harmful to you or your baby, but it can feel uncomfortable.
How can I reduce swelling?
Some simple things can help you feel more comfortable and can also aid in preventing swelling.
avoid standing for long periods without moving
wear comfortable shoes (avoid tight straps or anything that might pinch if your feet swell)
put your feet up as much as you can
limit salty foods and excessive salt in your diet
sleep on your left side, which will help blood return to the heart
exercise regularly by walking or swimming — this helps keep your circulation going
If you need to stand for long periods, try to move around and change position regularly.
Compression stockings can help the blood flow back to the heart and limit how much swelling you get. Massage and reflexology might also help reduce swelling and associated symptoms.
Even if your swelling is bothering you, remember to still drink plenty of water. Keeping your fluids up is important to avoid dehydration and stay healthy.
Normal or abnormal swelling?
Most pregnant women have swollen feet and ankles at some point, and this is perfectly normal. However, there are times when swelling could indicate something more serious.
Contact your midwife, doctor or hospital immediately if:
swelling is there at the start of the day or doesn't go down when you rest
your face or hands are swollen
the swelling is more than you have had before
These are warning signs for pre-eclampsia, which is high blood pressure caused by pregnancy. This is a very serious condition both for you and your baby, so call your doctor or midwife as soon as possible. Don't wait for your next regular appointment.
If one leg is more swollen than the other, this could suggest a more serious problem with one of your veins, such as deep vein thrombosis. Again, contact your doctor or midwife as soon as possible.
Most swelling is a normal part of pregnancy and will usually go away after you've given birth. However, if you're concerned about anything, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, talk to your doctor or midwife.
You can also call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to talk to a maternal child health nurse.
NSW Health (Having a baby), The Royal Women's Hospital (Active pregnancy), The Royal Women's Hospital (Common concerns in early pregnancy), Cochrane (Interventions for varicose veins and leg oedema in pregnancy), King Edward Memorial Hospital (Pregnancy, birth and your baby), Department of Health (Clinical practice guidelines: Pregnancy care), King Edward Memorial Hospital (Minor Symptoms or Disorders in Pregnancy King Edward Memorial Hospital Clinical Guidelines: Obstetrics & Midwifery), The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists - Pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure during pregnancy (The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists - Pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure during pregnancy)
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: February 2020
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When to Worry (and What’s Perfectly OK)
In the early pregnancy, you may beam from the inside out with bright, rosy skin and hair that brilliantly glistens for days. Then, one day, something takes the wind out of your prego-beauty sails — you look down and don’t even recognize the two extremely puffy cankles beneath you.
Unfortunately, swelling falls into that perfectly normal category of pregnancy side effects. In fact, most expecting mamas experience it. But why?
Let’s look at what causes swelling during pregnancy and offer some tips to beat the bloat with comfort and confidence.
And, a note of caution: There are a few instances in which swelling during pregnancy is concerning. We’ll also explain when it could be a sign of a more serious health condition.
During pregnancy, your body does some pretty herculean things, and there’s a lot that, well, increases. One of them is the sheer amount of fluid in your body. While pregnant, your total body water volume can increase by up to 8 liters— that’s over 33 cups!
Meanwhile, your plasma volume leaps 30 to 50 percent, which means your total blood volume increases as well.
So, where does all that fluid go? Good question.
Some of the water stays within your cells to help them function. The rest accumulates outside of your cells to enhance oxygen delivery, clear waste, and control electrolyte flow.
The increase in plasma is in response to the growing needs of the placenta and your maternal organs, as your blood volume increases to deliver all that your baby needs to develop.
As your little one inches closer to birth in the third trimester, your blood volume reaches its peak. Hint: That’s why your swelling (among other slight unpleasantries) can peak around this time.
But that’s not all.
The massive increase in body fluids during pregnancy is coupled with increasing sodium levels. And most of us have seen the effects of what a little too much takeout pizza can do.
Sodium affects how your body absorbs and processes water. Even the slightest rise in sodium may cause you to feel the power of the “puff.”
It’s completely normal to shed a little tear the day your rings and favorite heels don’t fit anymore (sigh). A little gradual swelling in your fingers, legs, ankles, and feet throughout pregnancy is part of the journey.
You may find that your swelling tends to worsen toward the end of the day. This is because the extra fluid in your body can gather in the parts of your body farthest from your heart. A hotter, humid day or a lot of standing can contribute to some normal swelling, too.
Moving into the second and third trimesters, more pressure from your little one’s growing size — in addition to more blood volume — may further affect blood flow in your legs, ankles, and feet, causing you to experience even more swelling.
Tips to relieve normal pregnancy swelling
Sometimes, swelling may be as inevitable as that supersonic sense of smell and burning indigestion that you take in stride with the pure joys of pregnancy. However, here are a few things that you can do to help prevent or ease it.
Elevate your feet at a level above your heart throughout the day, as this helps the fluid circulate back to your heart.
Drink more water to flush extra fluid and sodium out of your body.
Wear compression stockings to improve circulation, especially if you’re taking a long flight.
Avoid being outdoors in very hot and humid weather.
Take frequent breaks to elevate your feet when standing for long periods.
Avoid heels and wear comfortable, breathable, and supportive shoes.
Eat more foods with potassium, such as bananas and avocados, to flush out sodium and increase urine production (yes, even more).
Limit high salt foods, such as prepackaged meals, fast food, and chips.
We know every mama bear wants to know when to panic. The answer? Never. Panicking only boosts your emotional and physical stress. Instead, feel empowered by learning when to call your OB-GYN or midwife about swelling.
The two most concerning conditions during pregnancy that can cause swelling are preeclampsia and a blood clot.
First thing to remember: These conditions aren’t common, but the risk is real during pregnancy. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of them.
Secondly, swelling associated with these conditions is different than the normal, gradual swelling you may experience over the course of your pregnancy.
Here’s how the swelling is different.
Preeclampsia only affects about 5 percent of pregnant women, usually only after the 20th week. The following are three main symptoms of this disorder:
high blood pressure
protein in the urine
edema (a fancy word for swelling caused by excess fluid in the body)
Labs may also show abnormalities in liver enzymes and lower than normal platelet levels.
This relatively rare condition can have devastating consequences for mom and baby if not treated immediately, so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms — and swelling is one of the major ones.
Significant swelling in your hands, face, or around your eyes that comes on suddenly or gradually becomes worse should alert you to call your OB-GYN. If your swelling appears “pitted” — meaning when you push on your skin, an indentation remains — this is also concerning.
In preeclampsia, swelling might be accompanied by a persistent headache, vision changes, abdominal pain, and sudden weight gain. If you have any of these symptoms, call your OB or midwife immediately. They may advise you to go to your nearest emergency room.
Pregnancy is a risk factor for blood clots in the leg, thigh, or pelvis called deep venous thrombosis (DVT). A 2017 review states that pregnancy alone increases a woman’s risk of DVT fivefold. The risk is consistent throughout every trimester and even up to 12 weeks after delivery.
DVT is a serious condition during pregnancy and warrants immediate treatment, as it may cause a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal.
To protect mom and baby, it’s important to catch a DVT by knowing the symptoms. Swelling affecting only one leg is a big one.
Swelling related to DVT often occurs with other symptoms affecting the same area, such as:
warmth to the touch
If you have any of these symptoms, call your OB or midwife immediately and follow their direction.
Reducing normal pregnancy swelling is nice but not always possible — and that’s OK.
It’s more important to do what you can to prevent serious complications like preeclampsia and blood clots. Again, though, prevention isn’t always possible and early recognition is key. That said, here are some tips that might decrease your risk.
How to lower your risk of preeclampsia
A limited number of studies have demonstrated proven ways to prevent preeclampsia.
While supplementation with vitamins C and E has been researched as a possible preventive measure, a study in 2007 concluded that antioxidant supplementation with these vitamins shouldn’t be recommended for preeclampsia prevention during pregnancy.
Moreover, while some studies have demonstrated a possible connection between prenatal physical activity and a reduced preeclampsia risk, more studies are needed to confirm this relationship.
It’s most important to know your risk factors so your obstetrician can monitor you more closely if necessary.
Some risk factors for preeclampsia include:
chronic high blood pressure before pregnancy or during a previous pregnancy
kidney disease before pregnancy
personal or family history of preeclampsia
having overweight or obesity
having a multiple gestation pregnancy (more than one baby)
being over age 40
being pregnant with your first baby
pregestational and gestational diabetes
being of African American ethnicity
For women with a history of preeclampsia, low-dose aspirin has been cited as an effective secondary prevention strategy. Aspirin to prevent preeclampsia in women with a high risk but no personal history is still under debate.
How to lower your risk of blood clots
Like preeclampsia, preventing blood clots during pregnancy, childbirth, and the 3-month period afterward starts with knowing your risk factors, such as:
personal or family history of blood clots
personal family history of a blood clotting disorder
history of a cesarean section, also known as a C-section
immobility or long-term bed rest
certain pregnancy or childbirth complications
having diabetes, heart disease, or a lung condition
Your OB or midwife can work with you to help reduce your risk by developing a personalized prevention plan. Here are some easy everyday things you can do, too:
drink plenty of water
move your legs or get up at least every 1 to 2 hours if you’re sitting a lot
exercise as recommended by your doctor
use compression socks or stockings if recommended by your doctor
take prescribed medications as directed
If growing feet coincide with your growing belly, you’re certainly in very good company. There’s a normal level of swelling that affects most expecting ladies.
Normal swelling can peak in the third trimester, affecting the legs mostly. Some simple elevation and R&R with a big glass of water may be all that you need to calm your cranky cankles.
In rarer cases, swelling is a sign of something more serious. If swelling affects only one leg and is accompanied by pain, redness, or warmth, a blood clot could be a concern, and you should call your doctor.
If you experience sudden or gradually worsening swelling in your face, around your eyes, or in your hands accompanied by high blood pressure, call your doctor immediately. This could be a symptom of preeclampsia, which requires immediate treatment to protect you and baby.
reasons, what to do, how to reduce
Is swelling during pregnancy normal?
Where can edema appear?
How to detect edema?
Are swelling during pregnancy dangerous?
How to reduce swelling during pregnancy?
If swelling disappears during pregnancy, is it good?
Pregnancy is a happy time in anticipation of a miracle, but even it has a few “fly in the ointment” that few people manage to avoid. Perhaps the most famous of them are toxicosis, digestive problems, back pain and, of course, swelling. Why do pregnant women swell? By what signs can you understand that it is time to start treatment? What can be done to prevent or reduce swelling? Let's discuss the causes and consequences.
Is swelling during pregnancy normal?
More likely yes than no. The key causes of edema during pregnancy are an increase in fluid in the woman's body and a high level of progesterone 1 . This hormone begins to be actively produced even during ovulation, preparing the uterus for egg implantation. Its concentration remains consistently high in a woman's blood throughout pregnancy, providing many important functions associated with fetal development. Unfortunately, it has such a side effect.
Many women experience swelling before menstruation 2 . It's also progesterone. The hormone level rises in the second half of the menstrual cycle, which leads to this result.
The very fact that one of the causes of edema during pregnancy is the production of a very important hormone does not mean at all that you need to accept this situation with humility. It all depends on the severity of the condition: slight swelling in pregnant women is almost inevitable, but if they become significant, it is worth thinking about treatment.
What other changes in the body appear during pregnancy, read here.
Where can edema appear?
Edema during pregnancy is most often localized on the feet, ankles and lower legs. The reasons are clear: excess liquid first collects at the very bottom - where gravity pulls it. Usually everything starts with pastosity - mild swelling with blanching and a decrease in skin elasticity.
The next favorite place for pastosity and swelling is the hands. Also, excess fluid often leaves a mark on the face, along with edema, nasal debt may appear - the so-called "pregnant rhinitis" 3 .
Important to know!
Most people consider cold drops and sprays to be among the most harmless medicines. Just not during pregnancy - many of them are dangerous for the fetus 4 ! Be sure to consult your doctor before treating a runny nose.
And even in the early stages of pregnancy, a woman's body temperature rises to a more comfortable fetus - just above 37 ° C. This does not mean at all that you have caught a cold or caught a virus. To learn more about basal temperature, read our article.
How to detect swelling?
Severe swelling during pregnancy is hard to miss. When puffiness is not so pronounced, especially if the accumulation of excess fluid occurs slowly, the following signs will help to detect them:
There is a suspicious weight trend. If you follow the diet recommended by your doctor, but the weekly weight gain exceeds the norm for this period of pregnancy, most likely water is retained somewhere in the body.
Rings get stuck on the fingers, tight shoes. Signs of pastosity during pregnancy are easiest to detect by things picked up by hand or leg - they begin to press. By the way, it is better to remove the rings while there is such an opportunity.
The face is rounded. Every day you see your face in the mirror and you will surely notice if its forms begin to blur, smooth out.
There are traces of rubber bands. Many women today wear "footprints" - short socks that are almost invisible from the shoes. Perhaps the high "classic" is not so elegant, but it is an excellent tool for the early diagnosis of edema during pregnancy. If their elastic bands leave embossed marks on the legs, it means that excess fluid is collecting in the tissues.
There are unusual sensations in the fingers. If you feel tingling, burning, or numbness in your fingers, if there is pain or tension when you bend your fingers or step on your toes, it is most likely a sign of swelling.
Is swelling during pregnancy dangerous?
Edema is an excess accumulation of fluid in tissues 5 . As you can see, in this definition there is no clarification “in the tissues located directly under the skin”, internal organs can also swell. Often, swelling of the arms, legs, face in pregnant women is just the tip of the iceberg. Hidden from the eyes, internal stagnation of water can cause dysfunction of organs, general dehydration, and impaired oxygen transport. Ultimately, this can threaten the fetus with an insufficient supply of nutrients and oxygen starvation. Severe swelling during pregnancy affects not only the beauty of the expectant mother, but also the health of her baby.
Medicine divides edema during pregnancy into physiological and pathological. The former refers to almost inevitable changes associated with a hormonal shift and a general increase in fluid circulating in the body. The latter are a sign of various internal problems, such as kidney disease, heart failure, varicose veins, preeclampsia (late toxicosis) and others. Physiological edema usually does not require treatment - to reduce them, it is enough to follow a healthy lifestyle. In pathological cases, it is necessary to find the cause and eliminate it.
Your doctor will be able to distinguish physiological from pathological edema based on the results of the examination and tests. In particular, the presence of protein in the urine is an alarming sign. Between visits to the doctor, you yourself can suspect a pathology if the edema grows too quickly, starts to rise above the shins, and when you press on the swollen places, dents remain on the skin, which slowly resolve.
How to reduce swelling during pregnancy?
Pharmaceutical treatment is the last resort and is used only in extreme cases. Usually it is enough to adjust the lifestyle and acquire a few good habits. We will give you 12 simple recommendations that will help reduce water retention in the body 1 .
Observe the regime of the day. Try not to overwork during the day and have a good rest. The duration of sleep during pregnancy should be at least 8 hours, and if your body has such a need, even 9-10 hours.
Walk more. Your assistants in the treatment of edema during pregnancy are fresh air and reasonable physical activity. If in ordinary life you are used to walking only from the elevator to the parked car and back, something needs to be done about it.
Wear comfortable shoes. Even if you really love high-heeled shoes, even if you have complexes without them because of your own height, you will have to give them up for a while. Uncomfortable shoes exacerbate swelling during pregnancy, and soft shoes with low heels help fight it. If your feet still hurt at the end of the day, visit an orthopedic salon and ask a specialist to make custom insoles for you.
Change your posture more often. When your body becomes numb, it swells. Try not to sit or stand without moving for a long time. Both at work and at home, periodically leave your favorite chair to stretch a little. And while you are sitting in it, do not freeze in one position - move your arms and legs, change the position of your body.
Let's rest our feet. To prevent swelling in the legs, it is necessary to periodically raise them higher. So you facilitate the work of the circulatory system and allow it to pump out a little excess fluid from the legs. It is ideal to lie on your back with your legs up, but even if you just put them on a nearby chair during lunch in a corporate kitchen, this is not bad.
Exercise. In the fight against puffiness during pregnancy, simple physical exercises are useful - tilts, turns, etc. Statics will also help: kneel, then lower yourself on your elbows, stand in this position for 5 minutes. Yoga classes for pregnant women also allow you to disperse the fluid.
Lie on your side. In late pregnancy, your body itself will tell you the correct position for rest - lying on your side. In the early stages, it is also the most useful: in this position, the kidneys work most efficiently, utilizing excess water.
Drink, and do not limit yourself in this. You might think: the less I drink, the less swelling there will be. No, you can't drive them away like that, but getting dehydrated is easy. Drink as much as you want, but only clean water, fruit drinks or decoctions without sugar. Soda, juices from the store and other sugary drinks should be excluded from the diet.
Maintain a nutritional balance. During pregnancy, eat more protein foods, avoid pastries, bread, sweets and other carbohydrate-rich foods, limit the amount of fat in the diet. Completely give up "empty calories" - snacks and fast food.
Arrange fasting days. Treat yourself with a diet once a week. It's not about sitting on the water all day. There are many recipes for a tasty and quite nutritious "unloading" - from a kefir or banana diet to a chicken breast day or fruit smoothies.
Control your sodium intake. Sodium salts hold fluid in tissues, and the most famous of them is ordinary table salt. To prevent severe swelling during pregnancy, limit your daily salt intake to one level teaspoon, even less is better. When calculating, do not forget that salt enters the body not only from the salt shaker. It is found in many food ingredients (meat, fish, dairy products, tomatoes, etc. ), and in almost all semi-finished and finished products - from sausage to bread. Over time, you may even come to love the natural taste of food without or with minimal salt added - it is quite good.
Take natural diuretics. Rosehip, hawthorn, chamomile, lingonberry, bearberry - in the pharmacy you can find a lot of natural remedies to combat edema. Discuss the purchase with your doctor: during pregnancy, you should consult with him before taking any medications, even herbal ones.
Compression stockings 6 can be worn to prevent swelling and varicose veins. Consult a doctor - he will tell you what is better to buy and how to use.
If swelling disappears during pregnancy, is it good?
If you've recently changed your diet, started spending more time outdoors, or are taking other activities, that's very good. So your treatments are working and you are on the right track.
Another thing is when edema during pregnancy disappears by itself, without any changes in your life. A few days before the planned date of delivery, this is normal: progesterone has done its job, and its level drops 7 , releasing excess water. If the birth is still far away, a spontaneous decrease in edema is at least a suspicious sign. Contact your doctor to establish the cause of the body's unexpected gift and decide what to do about it.
Links to sources:
13 Home Remedies for Swollen Feet During Pregnancy. Link: https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/swollen-feet-during-pregnancy#causes
Pascale Mutti Tacani, Danielle de Oliveira Ribeiro, Barbara Evelyn Barros Guimarães, Aline Fernanda Perez Machado, and Rogério Eduardo Tacani. Characterization of symptoms and edema distribution in premenstrual syndrome. Int J Women's Health. 2015; 7:297–303. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4362892/
Eva K Ellegard. Special Considerations in the Treatment of Pregnancy Rhinitis. Women's Health, Volume: 1 issue: 1, page(s): 105-114. Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1517/17455057.1.1.105
Wai-Ping Yau, Allen A. Mitchell, Kueiyu Joshua Lin, Martha M. Werler, and Sonia Hernández-Díaz. Use of Decongestants During Pregnancy and the Risk of Birth Defects. Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Jul 15; 178(2): 198–208. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3816336/
Big medical encyclopedia. Edema. Link: https://bme.org/index.php/EOTYOK
What to Know About Compression Socks and Stockings. Link: https://www.healthline.com/health/compression-socks-benefits
Astle S, Slater DM, Thornton S. The involvement of progesterone in the onset of human labor. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2003 Jun 10;108(2):177-81. Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12781407/
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Edema during pregnancy | Nutriclub
What you need to know about swelling: why they appear, how to deal with them, how to distinguish ordinary physiological swelling from a symptom of a serious illness However, swelling can be a signal of health problems and pose a danger to both the expectant mother and the development of the fetus. Nutriclub understands when to worry if you have swelling.
Edema - excessive accumulation of fluid in the interstitial space - occurs quite often in pregnant women. Swelling can occur at any time and on different parts of the body.
Edema on the face (especially bags under the eyes and severe swelling of the eyelids) are especially noticeable and cause maximum dissatisfaction, because they directly affect the appearance.
Very often, pregnant women have swollen legs, especially after a long walk. That is why it is so important to get comfortable shoes for the entire period of pregnancy.
Hands tend to swell in women who work at a computer or do needlework. Rings begin to press, fingers look like “sausages”. In such cases, you need to temporarily abandon jewelry.
Pregnant women often mistake swelling of the nasal mucosa for a runny nose or allergies. The latter is more likely because allergic reactions tend to get worse during pregnancy. Also in pregnant women, due to changes in hormonal levels, a condition called rhinitis of pregnancy can develop, which is accompanied by severe nasal congestion. It is better to take tests and be sure to discuss the situation with a doctor who will prescribe a drug that is allowed during pregnancy. Ignoring nasal congestion is not recommended - breathing problems in the mother can make it difficult for oxygen to reach the child.
All these edemas can be both physiological and pathological.
Physiological edema of pregnant women
Physiological usually do not cause complications. They are explained by natural changes in the body of the expectant mother: the uterus puts pressure on neighboring organs, slowing down blood circulation, and sodium accumulates in the blood - it slows down the excretion of fluid from the body. At the same time, during pregnancy, the total amount of fluid circulating throughout the body almost doubles (part of it is contained in the amniotic fluid and placenta).
At the same time, a woman's hormonal background changes, which may be the cause of the legendary “salty” craving, which, in turn, provokes thirst and excessive fluid intake.
Summer heat or stuffiness in transport and premises, physical overload also affects health and appearance.
Physiological edema is considered natural at any stage of pregnancy - and does not pose a danger to the woman's health.
But at the first sign of swelling, you should definitely contact your obstetrician-gynecologist. The doctor will prescribe the necessary examinations and tests to exclude pathological edema, indicating health problems and complications of pregnancy.
Pathological edema during pregnancy
Pathological edema in the early stages can signal hypothyroidism - a condition in which there is a lack of thyroid hormones in the body. Doctors try to identify the disease before the appearance of swelling - pregnant women with a deficiency or excess body weight, with severe toxicosis, a blood test for thyroid hormones is prescribed. If the results are not normal, treatment is prescribed.
Also, starting from the first trimester, edema may appear due to problems with the kidneys. It is very important to take a urine test every two weeks, as recommended in the antenatal clinic. Erythrocytes, high leukocytes, a protein that should not be in the urine - a reason for referral to a urologist and ultrasound of the kidneys. It is important to exclude an infection in the kidneys, and if it is diagnosed, it should be treated qualitatively. Otherwise, premature obstructed labor or the birth of a child with a low weight are possible.
From the 20th week, swelling may indicate varicose veins. Circulatory disturbance due to uterine pressure leads to the formation of "knots" and pain in the legs. If you suspect varicose veins, you will be referred to a phlebologist who will give the necessary recommendations.
Edema also accompanies heart failure, which is considered a serious complication of pregnancy. In this case, the appearance of edema is preceded by shortness of breath and cyanosis of the mucous membranes.
However, most often, pathological swelling indicates late toxicosis - preeclampsia. This is a problem in the third trimester of pregnancy, but the first signs can begin to appear between the 18th and 20th weeks. Preeclampsia almost always requires the help of a doctor and the presence of a pregnant woman in a hospital.
What is gestosis and why is it dangerous?
However, gestosis, in addition to edema, has other symptoms: high blood pressure, protein in the sea (it is normally absent), nausea, vomiting, headaches, convulsions, fever, drowsiness, or, conversely, severe arousal.
There are four degrees of preeclampsia. The first degree is known as dropsy of pregnant women, it is mainly expressed in edema. The second degree is edema, protein in the urine, a violation of pressure. The third degree of preeclampsia is called preeclampsia. It is characterized by a decrease in cerebral circulation and even hemorrhage. In the most severe, fourth stage of the disease, convulsions (eclampsia) are observed. A pregnant woman may have a stroke or placental abruption.
Thus, even if everyone around them says that edema is completely natural, and they do not cause discomfort to the pregnant woman herself, it is very important to inform the doctor about the first appearance of swelling - precisely in order to make sure that the edema is physiological, and not pathological, and no complications for the development of the fetus and the process of childbirth will not entail.
When should a pregnant woman see a doctor immediately?
The following problems can be considered the reason for an urgent visit to a doctor:
swelling is already visible in the morning, immediately after getting up;
edema accompanied by high blood pressure;
edema becomes very severe: it is impossible to clench the hand into a fist, shoes are painful and uncomfortable to wear, it is difficult to open the eyes due to swelling;
regular shortness of breath, palpitations;
headaches do not go away for several days;
regularly experience nausea and vomiting after the 12th week;
Urges for small needs are rare and are accompanied by the release of urine of a dark color;
there are pains in the upper part of the abdomen;
painful convulsions appear;
What helps with swelling during pregnancy?
If, according to the results of the examination and analyzes, it is established that the edema is physiological, you can get rid of them (or at least reduce them) using the following methods.
Avoid fried, smoked, spicy, pickled and sweet foods. Steam or bake, eat fruits and vegetables regularly.
The use of salt should be limited - it contains sodium, it is he who retains fluid in the body.
Many advise to limit the use of water, even in the form of broth. In fact, it threatens with dehydration. It is better to drink plain water in small sips - and consume most of the daily allowance of one and a half to two liters in the morning. Soda should be excluded.
It is contraindicated to stay in heat or stuffy rooms for a long time.
On the recommendation of a doctor, you can wear special compression underwear, while giving up tight tights, uncomfortable shoes and heels.
Sleep at least 8-10 hours. It is also recommended to lie down every day for 15-20 minutes with legs raised up, do foot massage and foot baths with sea salt.
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