Swelling During Pregnancy: Reasons And Cure

Is your wedding ring too tight on your finger? Are you having puffed up hands? Welcome to the third trimester of pregnancy.

Swelling, also known as edema, during pregnancy is common, but it is very unpleasant. During pregnancy, the body produces about 50% more blood and other fluids to help in the growth of your baby. Those extra fluid fill up the tissues in your hands, legs, feet, and ankles. Approximately 25% of the weight women gain during pregnancy is due to the extra fluids.


But What Exactly These Fluid Do?

The fluid helps soften the body, stretch to accommodate the growing baby, and open your pelvic joints for delivery. Mostly in the later stage of pregnancy, the veins in your legs can get pressurized due to the increase in weight. Although swelling is not painful, it can be annoying. How do you deal with this? Here are some natural remedies.

Natural Remedies

1. Keep Yourself Hydrated

Are you wondering how can drinking more water reduce the swelling? It might sound counter-intuitive, but it helps. Drinking lots of water would help in fluid retention by flushing it out of your system through frequent urination. Swimming is an excellent way to exercise during pregnancy. The pressure outside the body while swimming helps in compressing the tissues inside the body which helps in flushing out the fluids.


2. Have Balanced Diet

During pregnancy, it is very important to have balanced nutrition. Potassium deficiency in the body could lead to swelling. Too much of salt intake could increase the swelling. Include less of salt and food high in sodium. Add bananas in your diet which has high potassium content. Have nutritious and balanced diet which is high in lean protein and vitamins. Have lots of fruits and vegetables. Cut down your coffee as caffeine can cause fluid retention.

3. Sleep To Your Left

Sleeping on your back or supine position is not recommended during pregnancy. Sleeping on your left side is good as it helps keep pressure off the inferior vena cava. This is the large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from your lower half of the body to your heart. Although left side is preferable, occasionally sleeping on your right side is not bad. Proper blood flow would reduce the swelling too.


4. Wear Comfortable Clothes

Dressing smart is very important to reduce swelling. Wear pantyhose or stockings which could help your feet or ankle from ballooning. Do not wear too tight clothes that would constrict your ankle or wrist. Check the socks before using, some might not feel very tight but it could be the reason of your swollen feet by the end of the day. Also, wear comfortable footwear.

5. Use Natural Products

Before using any herbal or natural products, consult with your doctor. Massage your feet with flaxseed or mustard oils. It can help relieve swelling. Having Dandelion tea can help the body metabolize the fluids.


When Is It An Emergency?

Consult the doctor immediately if you feel swelling is very sudden and strong. It could be preeclampsia which is a serious condition. Swelling would be more likely accompanied by a sudden spike in your blood pressure. Symptoms of preeclampsia include:

Shoulder or abdominal pain
Lower back pain
Shortness of breath
Changes in vision
Blood clots
Sudden weight gain


Is there any tingling sensation in your fingers? Are your hands numb that you can barely grip your coffee mug? Do not ignore, it could be pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition is also common during pregnancy.

It affects the wrists and hands when there is too much pressure on the median nerve. This nerve gives the feeling to your thumb, index, and middle fingers and is responsible for the muscle movement of your thumb. In Carpal tunnel syndrome, excessive fluid compresses the median nerve in your arm. Consult your doctor know if your hands feel weak or clumsy.


After Pregnancy

Your feet, hands should return to their normal size and your carpal tunnel syndrome should resolve on its own after delivery. If you feel the symptoms persist, consult with your doctor when you visit postpartum.