Many pregnant women experience swelling, but it can be difficult to know when normal swelling is a sign of something more serious.
Let’s look at what causes swollen hands and feet during pregnancy, common symptoms to watch out for and how to reduce discomfort.
What causes swelling during pregnancy?
This is due to water retention caused by an increase in hormones
, specifically progesterone which relaxes blood vessels.
An additional cause could be that the mother’s body is conserving fluid as her baby grows.
Common symptoms to look out for
During pregnancy, it’s important to be aware of any signs that may indicate a complication with your health or your baby’s health.
Swelling during pregnancy can be a symptom of pre-eclampsia if accompanied by high blood pressure or too much protein in the urine after 20 weeks of gestation.
Additional warning signs include severe headaches, vision changes, abdominal pain and shortness of breath.
It’s important that you contact your doctor if you experience any concerning symptoms related to swelling during pregnancy.
Reducing discomfort of swelling during pregnancy
Although there is no specific cure for swelling, there are a few steps that can help reduce discomfort:
1.Exercise regularly – this will help improve circulation throughout your body;
2. Wear loose-fitting clothes – avoid anything tight around your legs and waist;
3. Put your feet up. Take regular breaks throughout the day where you can prop up your feet above heart level;
4. Do not stand or sit for too long – alternate between sitting and standing while working or watching television;
5. Drink plenty of water – this will help flush excess fluids from your body;
6. Mind the amount of salt – avoid adding extra salt when cooking or eating meals.
When should I be concerned about swelling during pregnancy? Swelling during pregnancy is very common and usually nothing to worry about. In most cases, it should subside naturally within a few weeks after delivery. Indeed, hormones return to their normal levels after giving birth.
However, if you experience any concerning symptoms such as high blood pressure or too much protein in your urine after 20 weeks of gestation then contact your doctor right away. They can advice on further testing and treatment options available to you.
Taking regular breaks throughout the day, drinking lots of water and avoiding salt are all great ways to reduce discomfort from swelling during pregnancy.
Be sure to listen to your body so you can identify any potential warning signs early on!