Being pregnant is a precious and exciting experience since with it, there is life. Despite its benefits, it comes with various health problems due to the hormonal changes that take place in the body. One of the problems is edema, which is the swelling of parts of the body such as feet and legs. This is caused by the production of more blood and body fluids which the body produces so that it can meet the needs of the baby. By the third trimester, the weight carried by the uterus exerts pressure on the veins carrying the blood affecting the flow of blood. This causes retention of fluids below the knees.
Edema is a normal occurrence during pregnancy, and it is harmless. Most women experience it although some women do not. The swelling is visible mostly in the evening or after standing for a while. You are also likely to see more swelling during warm temperatures than when the temperatures are low.
Since edema is a normal occurrence, the best thing to do is to manage it to reduce its impact. You can do this by:
Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. If you tend to stand for long periods of time, you can take breaks and sit. In case you sit a lot, you should stand and take walks every now and then. Furthermore, try to elevate your legs when in sitting position. This will minimize the swelling and will enhance the flow of blood.
Wearing comfortable shoes and soft slippers can also reduce the swelling. That means that you should avoid wearing tight and high heeled shoes since they can lead to more swelling of the feet.
To minimize the swelling, you can also make use of a support hose which you can wear in the morning before the swelling starts.
Taking a lot of water is also important at controlling the swelling. It helps in removing the waste products from the body reducing the swelling.
Cause for alarm
Although edema is normal in pregnancy, it may be a sign of other problems if it is accompanied by other symptoms. Some of the symptoms are: more than slight swelling of hands and excessive swelling of feet which could be a sign of preeclampsia. You should also be concerned if the swelling persists for more than one day or if the swelling is more on one leg and it is painful since it could be a blood clot. In case, you see any of the symptoms; you should see a practitioner in order to find out if there are underlying problems.