2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
During pregnancy, many women suffer from swelling, water retention or edema. It is that during this period certain parts of the body tend to swell. Explanations of the phenomenon.
You will have noticed it early on, at some point in your pregnancy, certain parts of your body - such as the legs, ankles, feet, hands and also the face - swell and swell. In fact, 75% of pregnant women have edema (swelling) at one time or another during their pregnancy. Most often, it occurs when one adopts the same position for too long (for example, sitting in front of a computer for long hours) and also in a more concentrated way during the third trimester.
Water makes up about 60% of our body weight. It is found everywhere: in cells, blood, skin, organs and muscles. Every day, our vessels filter more than 20 liters of water and then reabsorb it in specific areas of our body. For this wonderful cleansing of the cells to take place properly, there must be a perfect balance between the systems involved. Therefore, proper functioning ofblood and lymphatic vessels, as well as a good hormonal balance.
For a woman of average height, we can count a blood volume of about 4-5 liters. For a woman carrying a baby, the volume almost doubles. That is, it will be 8-10 liters. The heart rate will therefore also increase by 10 to 15% of the usual rate. All this without forgetting the changes in hormones! It is, among other things, all these hormonal changes that cause this famous water retention. Because of these, the permeability of the capillaries will be changed and part of the filtered liquid will remain in suspension. Also read our article Weight during pregnancy.
In addition, the baby's weight on the abdominal organs and compression of the vena cava (large vein that carries blood from the lower body to the heart) may cause there to be presence of swelling in the lower limbs (legs, ankles, feet) and even forces the appearance of varicose veins. Monitoring how to position yourself, adopting good posture and adopting a few pillows for lying on your back can prevent compression of this vein.
Read our article To stop having heavy legs.
To prevent swelling, it is good to:
- Reduce the intake of caffeine and theine, which, in the long run, leads to dehydration and causes the body to compensate by keeping reserves.
- Reduce sweets, which lower the rateinsulin in the blood and promote fluid retention.
- Also be careful with s alt and saturated fats.
- Do sports or physical activity that contributes to good blood circulation.
- Wear clothes that don't constrict your limbs.
- Elevate your legs as often as possible in a resting position.
- Reduce s alt intake.
Finally, the winning formula remains to drink plenty of water (8 to 10 glasses of water a day, preferably with lemon), to have a he althy and balanced diet, to try to be active (there has so many great activities designed for pregnant women!) and avoiding stationary positions for long periods of time. It is preferable to sleep on the side (left, as much as possible) in order to promote kidney functions, therefore to have better elimination of waste and less edema! The semi-sitting position with the legs raised is also a good way to settle down during sleep.
Several alternative methods can help and even prevent swelling. Among other things, massage therapy can help with venous return (blood circulation) and lymphatic circulation, which ensures the elimination of toxins and water. Just be sure to see a therapist with the required skills.
It should be noted that even if edema is a condition that accompanies the majority of women expecting a baby, it is advisable, in the event that the swelling persists unabated andaccompanied by a sharp rise in blood pressure, very strong headaches or visual disturbances, consult your doctor as soon as possible.