Edema During Pregnancy
posted: Feb. 26, 2016.
Edema During Pregnancy
Being pregnant has proved to be difficult in more ways than one. First of all, your belly isn’t the only thing to swell – but it would seem like your whole body is just swollen. Sure enough, when you’re pregnant, you would definitely see and feel the swelling in your feet and ankles. This is called edema. Your feet might seem a little bit fatter in the evening and in warmer temperatures.
Edema would be seen in pregnant women starting from the 22nd to 27th week of pregnancy. It would likely stick around until the delivery of the baby.
Edema occurs when body fluids increase to bring nutrition to both the pregnant woman and her baby. These fluids accumulate in the tissues as a result of increased blood flow and pressure of the growing uterus. This causes women to experience swelling. It would be evident in the ankles, feet, and sometimes hands. If a pregnant woman gains weight, this may contribute to the swelling of the feet.
Mild swelling of the ankles and feet caused by edema is not an emergent situation. It is harmless and actually normal. It’s also normal not to experience a noticeable swelling, but not all women are fortunate enough to miss out on the swelling. However, if your hands and/or face become puffy and if the swelling persists for more than a day at a time and doesn’t improve overnight, a visit to your doctor is advisable. Excessive swelling might also be indicative of preeclampsia (a serious condition in pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure) but only when it’s accompanied by other symptoms such as elevated blood pressure, protein in the urine, and rapid weight gain.
Avoid long periods of standing and sitting.
It’s best to always take breaks and have a seat, or if you’re sitting down a lot, take a five-minute walk at least once an hour.
Sleep on your side.
Try sleeping on your side – preferably on your left – as this would give you great comfort. This position helps your kidneys to keep going, which in turn helps in waste elimination and it also reduces swelling.
Kick up your feet.
If there’s enough room, elevate your legs when sitting down.
Wear comfy shoes.
When you’re outside and you know you’re going to spend a great amount of walking, make sure your shoes are comfortable. At home, it’s best to wear a pair of running shoes
Go easy on the salt.
Having too much or too few salt intake increases swelling. Make sure your intake is moderate.