You expect a lot of things to change when you become pregnant. Your food cravings, your emotions and the size of your belly are a few, but your feet? Retaining fluid during pregnancy is very normal. It may seem odd, but this excess fluid is actually your body trying to help prepare you for pregnancy and labor. It is enabling your tissues to handle the growth of the baby.
This happens most commonly during the last few months. During late pregnancy, your growing uterus puts pressure on the veins in your legs and feet. This will slow the circulation leading to fluid buildup. Long periods of standing and this will also increase the pressure leading to more swelling. You may notice that it can even increase by the end of the day or during hot summer months.
Follow these simple tips to help decrease swelling and make yourself more comfortable.
- Put your feet up
- Lie on your side
- Take frequent breaks during the day
- At night, raise your legs slightly with pillows while sleeping
- Stay cool
- Be active and take short walks during the day
- Leg massages and supportive tights can help improve circulation
- Eat healthy foods with the right amount of protein
- Decrease salt intake
- Drink eight, 10 ounce glasses of water per day
Mild swelling of the legs, hands and face is normal, but call your provider if you have sudden or severe swelling, particularly in your hands or around the eyes. Also call your provider if one leg is more swollen than the other, especially if you have pain in your calf or thigh.