How much swelling is normal?
Know the swelling risks.
Various factors may influence the puffiness you feel. What can make it worse?
- High temperatures
- Too much time on your feet
- Not enough potassium
- Too much caffeine
- Too much sodium
Decrease pregnancy swelling through your diet.
Because of the diet risk factors above, it’s smart to eat foods that are high in potassium (bananas are one example) and limit caffeine and sodium.
Drink more, not less.
Drinking water can reduce fluid retention by flushing out your system. Experts recommend about 10 cups (2.3 liters) a day1.
Limit time on your feet.
If swelling is a problem for you, avoid standing for extended periods of time and keep your feet elevated whenever possible.
Sleep on your side.
Try to sleep on your left side to take the pressure off your inferior vena cava, the large vein responsible for transporting blood from the lower half of your body to your heart.
Adjust your wardrobe.
Choose comfortable shoes over high heels. And ask your doctor if compression stockings or tights could provide added support to ease swelling.
Find cool relief.
To lessen pregnancy swelling and any discomfort, apply cold compresses to swollen areas. You can try standing or walking in the pool for relief—the water pressure may help compress tissue in the legs, providing some temporary relief from swelling1.
Watch for swelling symptoms to share with your doctor.
While some puffiness is to be expected when you’re pregnant, sudden swelling in your face and hands or around the eyes could be a red flag for a serious condition called preeclampsia.2 Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any such inflammation. Also of concern is sudden and painful swelling in only one leg, as it could signify a blood clot, also known as deep vein thrombosis. For these conditions, you should seek prompt evaluation and treatment from your doctor.
Most swelling, however, is typical of the normal changes your body experiences when pregnant. In fact, approximately 25 percent of the weight most women gain during pregnancy can be attributed to the extra fluids.2
1Swelling During Pregnancy – Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-a...
2Swelling During Pregnancy – American Pregnancy Association http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/swelling-during-pregnancy/