Water Retention During Pregnancy: 11 Tips To Prevent It!
Certainly, you often noticed during pregnancy that your shoes don`t fit, you feel you have “heavy legs” and that you cannot even stand for socks. However, experts calm us down and tell us is a natural phenomenon during pregnancy; more specifically, it`s water retention. Fortunately, as you`ll soon find out, there are numerous tricks that can help us prevent and relieve this unpleasant problem.
Table of Contents
- 1 Water Retention during Pregnancy
- 2 What Should Concern Us?
- 3 How to Prevent & Relieve?
- 3.1 Don`t Stay Still for too Long!
- 3.2 Sleep on One Side!
- 3.3 Choose Comfortable Shoes
- 3.4 Avoid Tight Socks
- 3.5 Wear Casual Clothing
- 3.6 Adopt a Healthy Diet
- 3.7 Consuming a lot of Water
- 3.8 Practice Physical Exercises
- 3.9 Don`t Forget About Massage
- 3.10 Relax Yourself at the Pool
- 3.11 Avoid Smoking, Alcohol or Coffee
Water Retention during Pregnancy
Before concerning yourself about the occurrence of this phenomenon, you should know that water retention is perfectly normal during pregnancy, affecting nearly 75% of women. Most often, this issue manifests from the month 5 of pregnancy and may intensify during the third trimester.
The most common causes are:
- During pregnancy, there`s a significant increase of the level of fluids, including the blood production (about 50%) from the organism, due to the transformation of the mother`s body to meet the needs of the developing fetus.
- Sometimes, the increase in sizes of the uterus may cause pressure on the veins and restrict blood flow. Therefore, your legs and ankles may become swollen.
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy may also determine such problems.
Besides these ones, there may be other causes that may intervene, like:
- Sitting down/lying for long periods of time.
- Excessive heat.
- Too much standing.
- A diet poor on potassium.
- Sodium excess.
- Caffeine excess.
What Should Concern Us?
As mentioned earlier, this is something perfectly normal while expecting. Still, some of its manifestations should make us ask for immediate medical assistance. Here are the most common ones:
- Your face swells excessively, especially around the eyes. Also, your fingers and legs (especially the ankles) swell more than normal. In this case, we may talk about preeclampsia, which requires urgent medical examination.
- If one of your legs is more swollen than the other and it hurts, also feeling a sensation of warmth, we may talk about the occurrence of thrombophilia.
- The excessive swelling of the arms and joints can be a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a medical condition characterized by the compression of the median nerve, one of the most important nerves of the upper limb, on the wrist, on the palm, where there`s a fibro-anatomical bone structure, known as carpal tunnel.
How to Prevent & Relieve?
When this becomes concerning, there are a few tips that you can do to prevent or relieve this uncomfortable situation.
Don`t Stay Still for too Long!
To prevent this kind of problems, it`s preferable to not sit down or lied down for too long. If you have to stay on a chair for a longer period of time, try to stand up from time to time and move around a little. If you lie down, try to lift your legs as much as possible. – More info!
Also, don`t forget that it`s not a good idea to keep your legs crossed during pregnancy.
Sleep on One Side!
When you`ll adopt this sleeping position, there`ll be less pressure on the veins that transport blood to the heart and inferior part of the body. Moreover, you can put your legs on a pillow. This will make you feel more comfortable and diminish water retention in the legs.
Choose Comfortable Shoes
During pregnancy, your legs will change their size and it`s possible that your favorite shoes won`t fit anymore. – Read more!
Buy yourself new shoes according to your new needs. Let`s see what will be more fitted:
- Wear shoes cut after your ankle, with no heels or at least with low heels.
- You can try sport shoes, as casual as possible, in which your legs won`t sweat.
Avoid Tight Socks
Avoid tight socks and tights as much as possible, as they`ll be too tight around the ankles and wrists. If you`ll choose some that aren`t too tight, your blood and other fluids will be able to flow more easily throughout your body and avoid the retention of water.
Wear Casual Clothing
Just as in the case of tight socks, tight clothes can be harmful during pregnancy. To allow a better flow of your fluids throughout the body, wear casual clothes, which stay far away from your waist and wrists. By choosing casual clothes, you`ll diminish water retention and feel better. – Check this!
Adopt a Healthy Diet
If you`ll adopt a healthy diet, based on as few “junk foods” as possible, water retention will give you less trouble.
A suitable diet for relieving the retention of water while pregnant should be structured as follows:
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Try to reduce consumption of sugar, salt and fats.
- Avoid products that you don`t think are organic.
- Choose food that might ensure your daily intake of vitamins C and E.
Consuming a lot of Water
Experts advise us during pregnancy to drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water every day. That`s the only way we`ll succeed in detoxifying our organism, freeing it from the excess of harmful substances, which will in turn lead to a gradual diminish of water retention.
Practice Physical Exercises
After consulting with a doctor, you can do including stretching exercises, which will allow an optimal circulation of the fluids through your organism. Also, don`t forget that even simple walks in the park are ideal to relieve such issues, given that your blood flow will considerably improve.
Don`t Forget About Massage
For instance, a foot massage, done with essential oils, like lavender or chamomile, won`t only relieve of tensions, but will also intensify blood flow. Additionally, it will also allow a good detoxification of the organism, and, thus, will reduce the chances of confronting yourself with this type of problems.
Relax Yourself at the Pool
Experts believe that simply relaxing in the pool will reduce some of the pressure on your legs. Therefore, you`ll feel better and you won`t have swollen legs. Also, the water from the pool will cool you down and reduce some of the pains caused by the retention of water.
Avoid Smoking, Alcohol or Coffee
Avoid smoking and try to reduce consumption of products based on caffeine.
It`s important during pregnancy to avoid smoking, alcohol and anything related to coffee. All this may lead to water retention, thus leading to all sorts of pains.