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What Causes Swelling During Pregnancy and Ways to Relieve it

by | March 25, 2019

Swelling is one of the many pregnancy symptoms that we can all look forward too. Some women experience mild swelling, while others see their hands, face, legs, ankles, and feet balloon. Singer and actress Jessica Simpson, who is expecting her third child, recently posted a picture of her swollen foot on Instagram and asked for remedies.

Jessica Simpson/Instagram “Any remedies?! Help!!!!”

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What Causes Swelling During Pregnancy and Ways to Relieve it

Factors that can cause edema during pregnancy

The body produces 50% more blood and body fluids during pregnancy. The increase of hormones coursing through your body during pregnancy can cause your veins to relax, which can affect circulation.

  • Hot Climate
  • Standing for long periods of time
  • Not eating enough potassium
  • Consuming too much caffeine
  • Consuming too much salt/sodium

Slight swelling is normal during pregnancy. If all of a sudden you experience swelling in your hands and your face, elevated blood pressure and a headache that won’t go away with acetaminophen, it could be a sign of preeclampsia. Please contact your health care provider if you have these symptoms.

There are a few ways to relieve swelling during pregnancy.

  • Drinking water and staying hydrated is essential for combatting swelling.
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time.
  • Wear comfortable, supportive shoes.
  • Wear compression socks or tights.
  • Take adequate rest breaks.
  • Swimming.
  • Elevate your feet with a pillow while sitting or laying down.
  • Try to stay out of the heat during summer or if you live in a hot climate.
  • Apply a cold compress to swollen areas.
  • Minimize sodium in your diet.
  • Make sure you’re getting enough potassium.
  • Eating foods that are natural diuretics can help your kidneys to flush out extra fluids. Foods such as apple cider vinegar, asparagus, artichokes, beets, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, celery, carrots, cranberry juice, cucumber, eggplant, lemon, parsley, tomato, and watermelon are good natural diuretics.
  • Twenty minutes of swimming or taking a bath can decrease edema.
  • Massage can also help with swelling.

Swelling or edema caused by pregnancy should resolve itself after you give birth.


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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via Julie@raisevegan.com

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