Fluid retention in pregnancy and swollen legs are part of the process of conceiving a new life. It begins in the third month of pregnancy, but it gets worse during the third trimester of pregnancy. You could say that it is an annoying “side effect” of pregnancy.
Fluid retention is the main cause of swollen legs during pregnancy, but it is not the only cause. The pressure on the pelvic area exerted by the growing baby falls on the veins that carry blood to the legs. Also, it slows circulation, causing the legs to swell.
Hormonal changes also cause fluid retention in pregnancy, as fluids accumulate in the spaces between the cells of the soft tissues. It is possible to alleviate this swelling or edema with resources that we have in the home. However, it is always important for your doctor to evaluate the characteristics of the edema.
Solutions for fluid retention in pregnancy
Stay well hydrated
Water is the best natural diuretic a pregnant woman can take. By drinking more water, you are telling your body that it must eliminate excess fluid present in the tissues. The consumption of water should replace the intake of soft drinks, sugar beverages and coffee.
Control salt intake
Salt is a necessary mineral since it helps the pregnant woman to increase her sweating. But its consumption must be controlled, especially in the third quarter. Therefore, avoid highly processed foods, as they have a lot of added salt.
Unless you have an express indication of resting, it is important that you maintain simple exercise routines during pregnancy. Walk daily for at least half an hour. Avoid being a long time standing or sitting. The movement circulates the blood and the edema should subside.
Legs up and sideways
Lie down and raise your legs. In 20 minutes, the swelling should go down. Also, when you go to sleep, you should lie on your left side. In this way, you will not press the vena cava that carries the circulation to the legs. Also, use a pillow between the legs.
Watch your clothes
Tight pants or shoes are not favorable when you have fluid retention. Check with your doctor if you can wear compression stockings. In some cases, they significantly relieve edema by favoring fluid drainage.
Cold and warm water showers
If you alternate showers of cold water and warm water on your swollen legs, you will feel a great relief. It is not recommended that the pregnant woman use hot water since the edema could be complicated.
Consult your doctor about resorting to reflexology or lymphatic drainage sessions. They are proven and natural massages that improve circulation, increase the oxygenation of the blood and facilitate the drenching of fluids towards the ganglion system. If you opt for these options, look for a good professional; And if you have experience with pregnant women, much better.
How can you help with food?
You have to be careful with diuretics at this stage because what protects the baby is a liquid environment. However, when you begin to suffer from fluid retention in pregnancy, you can include in the diet foods that by their mineral components facilitate the reduction of this discomfort.
Nature offers fruits and vegetables that are ideal to relieve the edemas of the pregnant woman, such as watermelon, orange, pineapple, papaya, apple, melon, blueberries, beet, cucumber, celery, parsley, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables like spinach, romaine lettuce, and kale.
The juices or liquefies enhance the diuretic effects of vegetables and fruits, as they facilitate the digestion of minerals. Creativity has no limits to create pleasing and healthy proposals. Sweeten them preferably with honey, brown sugar or muscovado.
Aromatic and medicinal herbs have enormous properties, but you have to know which ones are indicated during pregnancy. This is because some can generate contractions in the uterus, which is better to avoid if the time has not come.
Among the herbs suitable for consumption during pregnancy are: the elder, the nettle, the dandelion, the raspberry and the corn husks. A tablespoon of the selected herb (or a mixture of these) is boiled in a glass of water for two or three minutes. Let it rest for ten minutes and strain. You can take up to twice a day.
If they recommend another herb in infusion, it is better to consult with your doctor or midwife before ingesting it. For example infusions of juniper berries, buchu, horsetail and winter horsetail are recognized for their diuretic properties but are contraindicated during pregnancy by causing uterine contractions.
The fluid retention in pregnancy and the consequent swollen legs are part of the process that the woman’s body lives during pregnancy. With a good diet, an exercise routine and these simple recommendations you may find the relief you need.