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Mar 032011

Swelling or oedema is a problem faced by many pregnant women. It simply means that your body is retaining water in excess which is causing swelling mainly in the ankles and feet. One of the reasons is that the hormones released during pregnancy cause water retention.

The other reason is that the volume of blood increases during pregnancy to cater to the needs of the growing baby. As the foetus gets larger, it puts pressure on the veins in the pelvic region and those supplying blood to the legs. The flow of blood slows down and water is pushed down into the feet and ankles, puffing them up.

This is a natural occurrence during pregnancy but it can be controlled to a large extent.

  • The quickest way to get relief is to prop up your feet when you sit or lie down. Use a foot stool to elevate your feet when you are sitting. When lying down, place a pillow or two under your feet so that they are slightly higher than your head.
  • Drink a lot of water. This will make your kidneys function properly resulting in increased urination and you will be able to expel extra water. Nothing works as well as plain water in this scenario.
  • Decrease your intake of salt rich snacks like chips and also pickles. Be on the lookout for sodium content on packaged foods by reading the label carefully. Try to substitute salt with spices and lime juice. Choose snacks which are roasted rather than fried and salted. Soft drinks also add to the bloated feeling.
  • Do not wear tight clothing as it may interfere with your blood flow. Be extra cautious when choosing tights and socks. The elastic must not be so tight that it squeezes your legs and obstructs the flow of blood. Wear loose comfortable clothes which allow proper circulation.
  • Walk for at least twenty minutes daily if the doctor gives permission, go ahead. This will help you in more ways than one. It will get you out in fresh air so that you can breathe in more oxygen giving you well oxygenated blood. It will tone your body and increase blood circulation which will keep bloating at bay.

By keeping all these in mind you can reduce the discomfort of bloating. During pregnancy you will increase in size and be ungainly, but there is no need to carry unnecessary weight when it can very well be avoided.