A very common problem experienced during pregnancy is edema caused by fluids build up in the tissues leading to moderate to severe swelling. Many pregnant women have to deal with leg swelling as the most common edema. Leg swelling during pregnancy is not a serious problem unless accompanied with painful cramping in the legs.
Women living in warm places that experience extreme summers will often have to deal with leg swelling. The best way to deal with swollen legs during pregnancy is to avoid them altogether.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid getting swollen legs during pregnancy. There are also easy home remedies to take care of painful leg swelling.
Pregnant women should lower their consumption of salt from the first trimester itself. Excessive salt in the body leads to water retention in the tissues which causes swelling. A low salt diet will help eliminate excess water faster from the body.Pregnant women should increase their intake of water.
Drinking at least 12-15 glasses of water during pregnancy will help avoid edema. When the body recognizes that its daily need of water is being met it will no longer feel the need to store water in the tissues.
Do not keep your legs hanging down for a long time. If you are working then carry a small foot stool with you that can easily fit inside the hollow of your desk. Rest your feet on the elevation provided by the stool rather than on the floor. Putting your feet on the floor for a long time will cause the fluids to accumulate in the legs as they move in the direction of gravity.
When resting in the afternoon or going to bed at night elevate your legs by placing two pillows under them. Remember that your feet should be placed higher than your heart when you lie down. This way your legs will pump out the excess fluid buildup.
Cold compresses work well for removing swelling from the legs. However, do not apply ice packs directly to skin. Swelling in the legs makes the skin extra sensitive and more prone to frost bite than normal. Instead wrap a towel previously soaked in chilled water and wrap it around your legs. Applying cold compress to the legs during hot weather helps avoid edema.