Pregnancy And Swelling

Several expectant mothers experience swelling of the body during pregnancy. It may range from mild swelling to severe swelling, mild to moderate is quite ok but if the swelling is severe it may lead to a life threatening complication called toxemia. Swelling usually occurs in the hands, feet, neck and face and if severe it is always good to check with your health provider.
A balanced healthy pregnancy diet can considerably reduce the chances of swelling. There are several foods that may trigger swelling like processed foods and colas containing sodium especially diet cola. It is wise to eat homemade food as far as possible since food from outside if of low quality may trigger swelling.

Drink a lot of water as dehydration is a common cause of swelling as the body tends to retain the excess water in case it does not get a sufficient amount. It is also important to get adequate amount of rest. Try to lie down on your left side as that improves blood circulation. In case you have swelling of the feet, keep them in a lifted position during the day. You will find the swelling subsiding.

Salt needs to be taken in adequate quantity. Too little or too much could trigger edema. Always try to have homemade foods as preprocessed foods and bottled water contains lot of sodium content which could trigger excessive swelling.

It is interesting to note that protein rich foods alleviate swelling and even toxemia. So add eggs, fish, legumes to your diet and you have a lesser risk of edema. Avoid soft drinks, sport drinks, diet cola, alcohol as these may alleviate edema.

Other factors may include a hot weather, so try to stay cool and keep yourself comfortable. Do not be sitting in one position the whole day, be active, walk around…all this helps in blood circulation. Do not use high heels as this may increase swelling.

Use shoes that fit well, are comfortable and preferably flat heels. You must know that having edema may indicate you will have complications due to high blood pressure but not always. So if you feel the swelling is severe and is not subsiding in spite of adequate rest and diet, it could be a symptom of high blood pressure.

Esther Gideon


The author is a postgraduate in business management and is a mother of a four year old and an eight month old.