Find out in detail about edema during pregnancy. Swelling of feet, hands, face, and nose are fairly common during pregnancy and here are tips to reduce these swellings.
Swelling is considered a normal part of pregnancy that every woman must experience to get to the other side. Edema, in this case also includes normal swelling. It happens due to blood and fluid imbalance caused by the pregnancy. This swelling is most commonly experienced on hands, legs, face, ankles, and feet. The extra fluid cause imbalance is required to soften the body. This, in turn, causes the body to expand as the pregnancy matures.
Understanding Edema During Pregnancy
Edema is an excessive accumulation of fluid in the interstitial space of any part of the body. During pregnancy, the amount of fluid circulating in the body of a woman is almost doubled. This fluid is contained in the amniotic fluid. All this is because the placenta, the growing baby and its circulatory system needs it.
This increase in fluid leads to the change of water-salt metabolism. Now, the sodium accumulates in the vessels, which delays the excretion of the liquid. On the other hand, the growing uterus presses on vessels and organs, which slows the circulation and promotes fluid retention.
In addition to all this, the replacement of the hormonal background during this period causes a feeling of thirst. This leads to edema as well.
- Diseases Accompanying Edema
Edema as a syndrome accompanies many diseases of various organs and systems of the body. Some systems of the body commonly associated with edema are the endocrine, cardiovascular, renal and other inflammatory processes.
- Dangers of Edema During Pregnancy
Edema, especially large one, is not just a symptom that looks uncomfortable and delivers discomfort. They can be quite dangerous. Therefore, because of the mother’s severe puffiness, the baby may experience hypoxia or oxygen starvation. The mother herself may suffer from swelling of the internal organs and, as a consequence cause disruption of their work.
Edema can also be one of the symptoms of gestosis, a condition with a severe degree. Due to this, the question about preterm labor may arise as well. Therefore, the appearance or even the possibility of it is important to be tracked at the earliest stage.
However, sometimes even severe swelling does not bother a pregnant woman, and her state of health remains satisfactory. Even in such a situation, it is better to see a doctor. The reason being, in more than 90% of such cases the condition worsens. Protein appears in the urine and the pressure rise all of which then causes problems during pregnancy.
As a rule, swelling begins to bother the expectant mother from about the 30th week of pregnancy. If with gestosis then it may occur from the 20th week of pregnancy.
Pronounced edema can accompany pregnant women who are waiting for twins or are just carrying a large fruit.
Hidden Edema During Pregnancy
It seems that puffiness is always an obvious problem. However, this is not the case. In addition to apparent edema, there are so-called hidden. These are edema of internal organs and tissues. You will need the help of an obstetrician-gynecologist to detect this hidden edema. This is because it takes several observation and examinations to properly detect them. Some of these much-needed examinations are as follows.
- Increase Weight
Regular weighing is necessary to detect dramatic weight shifts in the pregnant woman. Very often, a too strong increase in weight is indicated for concealed swelling.
This strong increase is capped at more than 300 g per week. The reason this works is that internal swelling even though not noticeable still has some impact on weight.
- Dialy Diuresis
Research of daily diuresis is another test done in a pregnant woman to detect hidden edema.
Diuresis is the amount of urine produced over a specific period of time. With its help, the amount of liquid that has been drunk is compared with the volume of excreted urine.
Normally, 3/4 of the whole liquid is discharged per day. This includes water and other drinks like fruits, and soups.
- Increase in Calf Shank Size
Regular measurement of the leg circumference is another test for hidden edema during pregnancy.
The complications of concealed swelling are indicated by an increase in the calf shank size by 1 cm or more.
Measurements are taken once a week to note any significant changes. Any significant changes are to be treated immediately to avoid any later complications.
This increase in calf size is also due to increase in weight of a pregnant woman still it needs to be checked out regularly.
- Other Tests
As a rule, doctors can find out whether the woman is inclined to edema, in the first weeks of pregnancy. Data on this is received from the examination of the patient, the study of its constitution, heredity, the history of disease, as well as from a blood test for biochemistry. The sooner you know whether you can have edema, the sooner you can take measures to prevent them.
Types of Edema During Pregnancy
There are basically two types of edema that can occur during pregnancy. These two types are named as physiological and pathological edemas. Let’s us understand a bit about both of them here.
- Physiological Edema
Physiological edemas usually do not cause complications and deliver the pregnant woman only a feeling of discontent with her appearance.
Their origin is due to the fact that the growing uterus squeezes the vessels. This, in turn, prevents a normal outflow of blood. The uterus also presses on the ureters, causing a fluid retention during pregnancy and, as a consequence, puffiness.
Swelling of the physiological type can be associated with the constitution of the pregnant woman. However, they arise more often in women of low height and with an increased body weight.
- Pathological Edema
Pathological edema usually accompanies gestosis (late toxicosis). This complication of pregnancy may occur in the third trimester.
Its symptoms are high blood pressure, urinary protein excretion (normally absent), nausea, vomiting, headaches, convulsions (eclampsia), fever, drowsiness, or, conversely, severe agitation, plus severe swelling.
However, gestosis may not be accompanied by edema, and such a “dry” gestosis is considered a more serious case. Also, gestosis is not necessarily accompanied by all of the above symptoms. The most dangerous is the presence of seizures.
In any case, gestosis almost always requires the help of a doctor and finding a pregnant woman in a hospital. The sooner you begin to treat it, the less likely it will be that it will take on a severe form.
Swelling During Pregnancy
There are various parts of a body of which swelling is quite common in pregnancy. This is what we call edema during pregnancy. The four most common part of a body that can develop swelling are feet, hands, face, and nose. Let’s learn a bit about each of them.
- Swelling of Feet During Pregnancy
Swelling of the feet during pregnancy is the most common type of edema. Especially they disturb those who spend a lot of time on their feet, or just after a long walk.
Swelling is usually noticeable on the feet and legs. Favorite shoes at the same time become small or strongly presses.
It is important to choose one that does not deliver discomfort and are made from well-stretching materials. This way it is comfortable to wear in the afternoon. Also, it is necessary to refuse high heels, having preferred low and steady.
If you are worried about leg swelling during pregnancy then try to give up long walks. Also do not stand on your feet for a long time, at home. Take a recumbent position and lift your legs up, and regularly massage your feet.
- Swelling of Face During Pregnancy
Edema of the face during pregnancy is easy to see as the face becomes round and puffy. Particular discomfort is delivered by the puffiness of the eyelids, bags appear under the eyes. This is due to the specific anatomical features of the eyelids. In this area, there is a loose fiber, a highly absorbent liquid.
The swelling on the face can be reduced by observing the general rules for the prevention of edema during pregnancy.
- Swelling of Hands During Pregnancy
Edema of the hands during pregnancy appears in those women who work at the computer, do needlework and any other monotonous work.
Stagnation of the fluid is formed due to the monotonous movements. In this case, you need to regularly do gymnastics for your fingers.
Also, starting from the second half of pregnancy, doctors advise not to wear rings on their hands.
If you do not remove them in time, you can wait for such a degree of puffiness, in which it will be very difficult or impossible to remove them.
- Swelling of Nose During Pregnancy
The nose can swell as a consequence of the general edema of face, and also because of possible allergic reactions. All this in the period of expectation of the child is greatly exacerbated.
It is advisable not to allow congestion and swelling of the nose. This is because breathing problems can hamper the access of oxygen to the child.
You can eliminate swelling with drops. However, you must remember that pregnant women are not allowed to use a whole range of familiar medications. So, it is better if the doctor will prescribe you a medicine that knows exactly what means are allowed.
Tips for Edema During Pregnancy
Pregnant women with swelling are given increased attention at the stage of reference in the women’s consultation. The future mother is regularly weighed, blood pressure is measured and the kidneys are monitored by urinalysis. Everything is aimed at preventing the complications. The advice that doctors give in step format is as follows.
- Set Up Food
Eliminate fried and smoked instead cook meat and vegetables, cook for a couple and baked. The food cooked in such a way as fried or smoked tends to badly affect the vessels.
Food should contain a sufficient amount of protein for lack of it can cause gestosis. It is also better not to eat fatty, spicy, pickled, sweet foods and buns.
However, low-fat broths, cereals, fruits, and vegetables are worth eating regularly.
For the prevention of puffiness, it is also useful to spend unloading days, but do not get carried away. It cannot be done more often than once a week and necessarily after agreement with the doctor.
- Limit the Use of Salt
You need to limit the use of salt in your diet ideally up to 1-1.5 g per day.
Its composition includes sodium, due to which it retains liquid in the body.
It is important not only to nedosalivat or not to include salt at all in any food during cooking.
It also means to remove from the diet stuff like pickles, sauerkraut, herring, chips, crackers, sausages and canned food.
- Drink More Liquid
A sufficient amount of liquid will accelerate the water-salt metabolism in your body. If you drink a little, you can bring the body to dehydration, which is no less dangerous.
The day is to drink up to 1.5 liters of water not counting soups and compotes). Most of the liquid drink should be before dinner, leaving less for the evening. Drink better not with large glasses, but in small sips, often, but little by little.
However, it is also not worth it to abuse the fluid as well. It is fraught with the appearance of even more puffiness. You can drink not only water, but also juices preferably unsweetened and freshly squeezed, fruit drinks, tea with milk. At the same time, it is better not to get involved in black tea and coffee, they can affect the blood vessels and pressure.
Green tea is also not as useful as many people think. It contains a large amount of caffeine and can also act on the condition of the vessels. In a day you can drink no more than two cups.
Forget about soda, the more sweet. In addition to fluid retention, it also provokes heartburn. If you are going to start drinking so-called diuretic teas, be sure to consult a doctor. Remember not all such drinks can do good and so you need to take them very carefully.
- Be More Active
Go and do gymnastics for the forces. With active movements, the risk of edema is reduced by half.
Do special exercises for pregnant women like yoga or better yet just visit the pool.
The main thing is not to overdo it and do it as much as you can. The load must be uniform and dosed properly.
So, to do everything just perfectly you need to consult a doctor and get it right.
- Rest Your Feet
Try not to stand still and not walk too long. If you are sitting, put your feet on a special stand or stool. At the same time, one cannot sit categorically, throwing one leg to the other.
With a long sitting about once an hour, do gymnastics stop like by twisting them in different direction. Get up one by one on the heels and half-toes.
Do not sit for long in one pose and when lying down, put a cushion under your feet.
You can also go for cool foot baths and massage as this tends to help relax your feet and by extension the pregnant woman. Lastly, Try not to stay long in the heat or in stuffy rooms.
- Wear Special Compression Clothes
On the recommendation of a doctor on only then you can wear special compression clothes. Swelling of the legs can be accompanied by varicose veins.
Treatment of this problem should deal with phlebologist. They will also advice you about the underwear of the required degree of compression. The main thing is to choose it by its size as it should not press that much.
Again this can and should only be done after getting a doctor’s advice on the subject.
Edema is a symptom that accompanies almost every pregnancy. Small swelling is almost inevitable, but there is nothing dangerous in them. Therefore, you do not need to worry. The main thing is to show responsibility in time and not to forget about the rules of their prevention, so as not to lead to a serious degree. In this case, after the birth, edema quickly disappears, because the body of a woman leaves about 8 liters of excess fluid. And you will quickly forget about this problem.
Signs of Severe Edema
A sign of severe edema is the time when you need to consult a doctor immediately. The easiest way to determine if you have swelling or not is to press your finger on the skin. If there is no swelling, there will be no trace on the skin. However, if there is edema then you will see a pit that will be leveled slowly enough, and the skin becomes pale and tense at swelling.
A small puffiness will not cause harm to the pregnant woman. However, there are signs, noticing that it is better not to delay with the reference to the doctor. These signs are mentioned below.
- Sharp weight gain. If you gain more than 300 g per week, this indicates strong swelling and a lot of excess fluid in the body.
- Manifestation of edema in the morning. As a rule, puffiness is temporary and intensified towards evening, and in the morning there are no traces left. If it bothers you in the morning, then it can go to a dangerous degree.
- Burning, tingling of the fingers and toes, numbness in their fingers. This is due to the squeezing of the nerves. With severe swelling, there may also be difficulties in flexing your fingers. Then it becomes painful to step on your feet.
- The shoes press and become cramped, the rings are hardly removed from the fingers or not removed at all.
- Strong rounding of the face, swelling of the nose and lips.
- Heart palpitations, shortness of breath, increased blood pressure are all signs that tells you to consult a doctor immediately.