During gestation the body produces approximately 50% more blood and fluids to support your baby's development. Swelling or edema is often experienced in the hands, face, legs, ankles, and feet as a result of the additional production of fluid. Fluid retention occurs during pregnancy to soften the body which enables expansion as the baby grows. Additionally, extra fluid prepares the pelvic joints and tissue for labor.
Why swelling happens during pregnancy
Pregnancy swelling accounts for approximately 25% of pregnancy weight gain, and the onset of swelling may occur at any stage in pregnancy, but tends to be more prominent at the fifth month. Other factors may contribute to swelling like summer heat, standing for long periods of time, excessive daily activity, low potassium consumption, and high caffeine or sodium consumption. Swelling during the summer is something that is experienced by many expectant moms, but there are ways to fight that summer pregnancy swelling!
How to combat pregnancy swelling
Fighting summer pregnancy swelling can be accomplished by minimizing outdoor time when temperatures are high, resting with your feet elevated, wearing comfortable shoes and you may even want to consider supportive stockings. If you work at a desk, propping your feet on a chair or stool is a great way to conveniently elevate the feet with little inconvenience. The implementation of foot and ankle exercises are another great way to pump fluid out of the legs. Avoid tight-fitting clothing around the wrists and ankles and resting or swimming in a pool is also a good way to reduce swelling in the summer.
You can also apply cold compresses to swollen areas when necessary, and most importantly remember to drink lots of water in order to flush the body and reduce fluid retention. Make it a goal to drink eight glasses of water a day for maximum results! You will also want to minimize your salt intake and avoid using table salt, as the additional sodium is sure to negate your efforts to reduce swelling. A diet full of fruits and vegetables, especially those like bananas that are rich in potassium, will be helpful in reducing symptoms of swelling/edema. Summertime pregnancy swelling is the perfect excuse to enjoy those delicious watermelons!
Insurance Covered Maternity Support Bands Can Help
Matenrity Compression can help relieve some pregnancy-induced swelling.
Maternity Support Bands are designed to take the pressure off your core to reduce stress as your pregnant belly grows. The band redistributes weight for incredible relief and comfort during pregnancy. They are made of soft breathable fabric that wraps around your waist.
Compression socks work by providing pressure to your veins to promote blood flow and improve circulation. Most of the pressure is applied around your ankles and gradually decreases up the leg. Expecting mothers often find that compression socks provide pain relief and comfort when they have to be on their feet for extended periods of time.
Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.