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Edema during pregnancy: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Edema is a swelling in some part of the body that appears due to the accumulation of fluid in the tissues. This discomfort is widespread during pregnancy and is that the body changes that are suffered in this stage favor the appearance of Edema, especially in the ankles and feet. However, it can also appear on the hands or face. The swelling is usually soft and gives way when pressing on it, being especially common during the third trimester.

In summary, suffering from this problem is not a cause for alarm since it is considered normal during this stage, and about 75% of pregnant women usually suffer from it. However, it can indeed be quite uncomfortable to bear, so in this FastlyHealarticle, we explain what you need to know about Edema during pregnancy causes and treatment of this condition.

Causes of Edema during pregnancy

The appearance of Edema is usually due to a series of causes that converge in pregnancy:

  • On the one hand, the hormonal changes that the body undergoes contribute to more excellent fluid retention; the blood vessels dilate slightly, the volume of blood circulating through them increases, and its transport becomes more difficult. In addition, this implies that these vessels lose elasticity and firmness so that the liquid penetrates them more easily, accumulating in the tissues.
  • On the other hand, the pressure exerted by the uterus as it grows in the pelvic veins and the vena cava, responsible for transporting blood from the lower extremities to the heart, makes circulation less fluid in the legs and favors blood flow—fluid retention in the tissues of the lower body.

Often, the swelling can be seen in the toes, where the rings no longer fit, or in the feet, noticing our tighter shoes. It should be added that this condition tends to occur more severely in women with multiple pregnancies or excess amniotic flow. Edema also tends to worsen at the end of the day and during the summer months, when the heat is more intense.

Treatment of Edema during pregnancy

If you suffer from Edema during pregnancy, keep these tips in mind:

  • Try to lie on your side, helping to relieve pressure on the vena cava. Keep in mind that this is located on the right side of the body, so it is better to lie on the left side.
  • Try to put your feet up and relax whenever you can; this will prevent fluid accumulation and make you feel better. At work, try to have a tool such as a stool or a stack of books that will facilitate the task.
  • Once seated, avoid crossing your legs or ankles and straighten your legs frequently, flexing them up and down to stretch the calf muscles, making circular movements with your ankles, and wiggling your toes.
  • Try not to sit or stand for a long time. Change your position and take short walks to circulate the blood; comfortable shoes will help.
  • There are waist-length support stockings designed to prevent blood pooling around the ankles. Try putting them on even before you get out of bed, and avoid socks or short socks that make the problem worse.
  • Believe it or not, drinking plenty of water and being well hydrated will facilitate the expulsion of liquid. A healthy diet rich in diuretic foods and moderate exercises, such as walking or swimming, will also help reduce bloating.
  • Contrast baths, that is to say, from cold to hot water and vice versa, leg massages from the bottom up or aquatic exercises such as those done in water aerobics classes, stimulate blood circulation; that is why we invite you to try them.

Remember that Edema is a temporary problem and that, after childbirth, the body eliminates excess fluid without problems, thus disappearing the swelling quite quickly. Therefore, it is common to need to urinate more frequently or sweat more than usual.

This article is merely informative; at FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Edema during pregnancy: causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our Pregnancy and baby health category.

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