Edema During Pregnancy

One fine day you wake up to realize that the shoes you normally wear just do not fit you anymore, or the wedding ring that you had kept aside for a few days, just won’t slide on your finger when you try inserting your finger into it! Surprising isn’t it? Well, this is because your body tends to swell while you are pregnant, and this condition is known as ‘Edema in pregnancy’.

Approximately 75 per cent of pregnant women experience this condition, so there is nothing to worry about in case you are one of them! The swelling generally occurs when you enter your third trimester and is seen in body parts like the feet, face, legs, and hands.


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Causes of Edema in Pregnancy

While you are pregnant, your blood volume increases by 50 per cent. Your body has a tendency of retaining more fluids than normal while you are pregnant. This fluid retention leads to edema or swelling.

The second cause for this condition is that, as your baby grows, there is a growing pressure on your veins, especially on the large vein called the vena cava, which returns blood to the heart from your limbs. Because of this growing pressure the blood flow slows down, leading to the swelling of your feet and legs.

Treating Edema During Pregnancy

The best way to treat edema during pregnancy is to relieve your veins. Listed below, are some guidelines that you can follow:

  • Avoid sitting for long durations: Take breaks in between your work or take a short walk.
  • If possible, keep your feet at an elevated position: For example, if you can rest them on a stool or a short table while working, it will really help.

  • Avoid sitting with your legs crossed: When you cross your legs, the blood circulation slows down and may result in swelling.
  • While sleeping, sleep on your left side as it improves the blood flow. Try to elevate your feet by placing some pillows below.
  • Follow a mild exercise regime which will help improve the blood flow, and also reduce swelling.
  • Avoid food that is high in sodium and avoid caffeine: Sodium and caffeine tend to dehydrate your body, and your body will try to compensate for this water loss by retaining fluids. However, for those with extreme edema, the opposite will help cure the condition.

Edema during pregnancy is normal and will disappear after your delivery. However, if you notice a sudden and severe swelling accompanied by dizziness and headache, you need to consult your doctor immediately, as it can be preeclampsia.

Edema During Pregnancy
Edema During Pregnancy
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