Discomfort due to water retention is a common enough complaint during pregnancy. Every mother-to-be wants to reduce swollen legs during pregnancy.
Swollen legs and feet happen to be the most occurring issue, but you can also get swollen arms, fingers and face – all of which have nothing to do with weight gain during pregnancy. What you’re experiencing is oedema – that’s when excess fluid collects in your tissue. During pregnancy, it is normal to have a certain amount of swelling because of two things. One you are retaining more fluid which as the body chemistry changes can shift to your tissues; second the blood flow slows down which results in fluids pooling around your ankles and feet. Then again if you have a diet high in sodium you might end up with a swollen face and extremities.
While you cannot really do away with swollen feet and swollen legs during pregnancy, but you can ease the discomfort with these tips:
- Drink plenty of fluids: Drinking lots of water is the simplest way of allowing a steady stream of fluids to run through your body.
- Avoid unnecessary salt: Salt retains more water in the body than any other food, so cut out the chips, salty snacks and sprinkling salt at mealtime to avoid water retention during pregnancy.
- Put your feet up: Take frequent breaks to give yourself and your feet and legs some much-needed rest. Avoid standing for long stretches of time to reduce bloated ankles and legs. Drink some water or juice or snack on some fresh fruit while you are at it.
- Get a foot rub: You can go for a regular pedicure from your salon, or better yet, get a delicious prenatal foot massage from a specialist. Nothing beats a light massage with warm oil so long as it is not painful for swollen feet.
- Wear support stockings: The support that compression stockings provide feet to avoid swollen legs cannot be over-emphasized. These special tights or stockings improve blood circulation, preventing swollen legs during pregnancy, especially swollen ankle.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes: Avoid those trendy heels and opt for comfort during these 9 months. Also avoid clothes that sit tight around your thighs, ankles and wrists.
- Do gentle exercise: You can help in fluid movement through your body with gentle exercises like yoga, walking or swimming.
- Snack on fruits and vegetables: Fruits are great for the overall health of both mother and baby, especially during pregnancy. Try to get 2 cups of different fruits daily – this is besides canned fruit, dried fruit, bananas and fruit juice you take. If you are pregnant during summer or in a hot climate, there is nothing better than gorging on watermelons and mangoes. Eat three cups of raw or cooked vegetables daily. Leafy greens plus a variety of vegetable colours from yellow, orange, red to purple should be eaten. Fruits and veggies supply not only fluids, vitamin C, folic acid and fibre too. Vitamin C is vital for your baby’s bones, teeth and for building collagen, while folic acid prevents neural tube defects and promotes a healthy birth weight.
- Stay Cool: Hot and humid weather are the enemies of pregnancy. Reduce outdoor time when it’s hot, remaining indoors in air conditioning or in the shade.
- Soak in bath salts: Prepare a warm bath with Epsom salts dissolved in it. Soaking in a warm water bath is relaxing by itself, bringing relief for general body aches and pains. But a half hour soak with bath salts can bring faster relief.