About half of all pregnant women experience swelling around their ankles in the last few months of pregnancy. The upcoming article sheds light on what leads to this condition and the different ways to tackle it.
During pregnancy, the stomach bulges out to accommodate the baby inside the womb. There is an overall heaviness in the body, but the discomfort level increases when there’s fluid retention in the body, which leads to swelling. It is a natural phenomenon that occurs during this period, so it’s not a cause of worry. When carrying a baby, the body produces 50% more fluid and blood than normal to provide favorable growth conditions for the baby.
The extra fluid in the tissues and joints also aids in withstanding labor pain. The baby needs to accommodate itself in order to grow properly inside the womb. This leads to swelling and bloating, not only in the abdominal region but also in the other parts of the body, like face, neck, ankles, hands, etc.
What Causes Water Retention During Pregnancy
Bloating of the body is usually observed during the second and third trimester, and there are several reasons behind this.
☛ When carrying a baby, the body undergoes hormonal changes that lead to water retention and swelling. This condition is known as edema.
☛ Retention of water normally occurs in hot and humid conditions. Inadequate intake of water also triggers fluid retention during pregnancy. Lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle are other causative factors.
☛ Standing for a long time results in swelling of the lower body parts, like legs, ankles, etc. Over consumption of diuretic foods like coffee and tea, processed foods, and sodium also results in this condition.
☛ Swelling of body parts during the second and third trimester is normal. However, sudden swelling of body parts during the end of second trimester is definitely a cause of concern. Swelling of hands and neck during this period are signs of developing preeclampsia. This condition results in high blood pressure, which can be life-threatening both for the mother and baby.
☛ It also leads to excess fluid retention in the body, increase in body weight, and excretion of protein in the urine. Severe headache and spots in front of eyes are other symptoms associated with preeclampsia. If you observe these symptoms, immediately visit your doctor.
Ways to Prevent Water Retentivity During Pregnancy
To avoid this problem, you need to modify your lifestyle in this crucial period.
✔ Normal edema can be controlled by including plenty of water and fluids in the diet. Consume foods low in sodium and potassium to minimize water retentivity. Include plenty of fiber-rich food as well.
✔ Avoid wearing tight and stretchable clothes. Opt for loose garments, which will keep you comfortable and let your body breathe freely.
✔ If you need to work continuously for hours, take breaks in between to allow body movements. Keep your body agile, and do not sit or stand for long periods, as this slows down fluid circulation in the body.
While standing, make it a habit to periodically stretch your legs. Regular exercises, prescribed by doctors, are highly beneficial in reducing the problem of swelling and bloating. Though it causes a certain amount of discomfort, it is highly recommended by doctors, as it provides sufficient room for the expansion and growth of the baby. In any case, if you observe unusual symptoms, do not hesitate to visit the doctor to get yourself diagnosed. A healthy pregnancy leads to the birth of a healthy child. Best Wishes!
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.