How to prevent and alleviate fluid retention in pregnancy?

Prevent and Alleviate Fluid Retention

Are you in the third trimester of pregnancy and suddenly feel like your shoes and rings are tighter?

As your pregnancy progresses, you will most likely experience a feeling of swelling and heaviness in your legs and ankles due to fluid retention in pregnancy and may also manifest in other parts of your body, such as your hands or face.

prevent and alleviate fluid retention

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In the final stage of pregnancy, most pregnant women tend to retain more fluids in their bodies and this usually manifests itself in the form of swelling or edema.

Fluid retention in pregnancy is very common and usually manifests itself as swelling or heaviness.

Fluid retention usually increases at the end of pregnancy and in the hot season, or when standing for a long time, but although these are some of the most common discomforts of pregnancy, they can be relieved by just following a few recommendations.

How does fluid retention occur in pregnancy?

During pregnancy, women suffer from major changes in their bodies, one of which is fluid retention. The accumulation or retention of fluids in pregnancy is caused by hormonal changes and the release of maternal substances, but mainly by the increase in volume experienced by the uterus in the last months of gestation.

During pregnancy, a woman has 40 to 45 percent more blood volume.

As the mother’s uterus increases in size, it puts pressure on and compresses the blood vessels, making it difficult for the venous return of the extremities to the heart. This tension causes the mother to accumulate liquids in the tissues and experience sensations of swelling and heaviness.

Increased blood flow during pregnancy is also often one of the most common causes of fluid retention in pregnancy, as it is estimated that a pregnant woman has between 40 and 45 percent more blood volume than an out-of-state woman.

Remaining standing for a long time, or wearing a lot of clothing that is tight to the body, promotes fluid retention.

In addition, there are other situations that can also contribute to the appearance of fluid retention in pregnancy, such as the habit of staying standing for a long time or without changing posture, suffering from obesity or wearing a lot of clothing and footwear fitted to the body.

Not all women have the same tendency to retain fluids.

Why is fluid retention common in pregnant women?

Despite the discomfort and discomfort caused by its symptoms, fluid retention in pregnancy is very common.

In fact, it is estimated that at least 70% of pregnant women experience these symptoms in the last three months of gestation, extending to a few weeks after childbirth, in some cases.

70% of pregnant women suffer from the symptoms of fluid retention in the last three months of gestation.

According to specialists, fluid retention in pregnancy is a completely natural process and occurs for two fundamental reasons:

  • Satisfy the typical demands of pregnancy.
  • To protect the mother and the baby from the descent of blood back to the heart, due to the compression exerted by the uterus in the blood vessels.

What are the symptoms of fluid retention in pregnancy?

The most noticeable symptoms of fluid retention in pregnancy are the appearance of oedema or sensations of swelling, tiredness and heaviness in legs and ankles, but can also affect other areas of the body such as the hands and even the face in some cases.

Symptoms appear most often in the last trimester of gestation and may increase at the end of the day or in very hot weather.

The symptoms of swelling also tend to increase in those pregnant women who due to some type of kidney or circulatory disorder, such as varicose veins, have a greater predisposition to suffer this type of condition.

During pregnancy, wear clothes that are not too tight to make you feel more comfortable.

Recommendations for preventing fluid retention in pregnancy

Fortunately for us, the uncomfortable feeling of bloating and fatigue caused by fluid retention in pregnancy can be prevented by just implementing some of the following recommendations.

For starters, it is recommended that you regulate the salt intake of your meals, as it can make a big difference in the amount of water you accumulate; it is also very beneficial to practice some physical activity.

Let’s see what else you can do to win the battle against fluid retention and feel lighter.

  • Doing moderate exercise that helps your blood circulation, such as yoga or pilates. Or simply take a few daily 30-minute walks to help stimulate venous return.
  • Follow a balanced diet and include foods rich in potassium such as banana, zucchini, spinach, pineapple, mushrooms, among others, as they are an excellent aid to eliminate liquids through urine.
  • Eliminate salt from your diet: Rather than eliminating it completely, we advise you to regulate its consumption and avoid as much as possible excessively salty foods, such as chips or snacks.
  • Drink plenty of water: Hydration is essential, so try to drink two liters of water daily and limit the consumption of very sugary drinks or coffee.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and footwear: Tight-fitting clothing also contributes to fluid retention.
  • Don’t stand too long: Or in the same position for too long, especially if you’re sitting and cross-legged. It’s best to use a foot rest to keep your legs elevated.
  • Weight management: Overweight and obesity should also be avoided when preventing fluid retention.

Sleeping or lying on the left side with a pillow between the legs helps circulation at this stage.

How to alleviate the symptoms of fluid retention?

Once you feel the feeling of swelling and heaviness in your legs and ankles, you can relieve them with a few simple tips that you can easily do from home.

Let’s look at some of them:

  • Sleeping with your legs elevated with the help of a cushion will help your blood flow better. The ideal is to elevate them above the level of the heart, that is to say about 15 centimeters above the body, or to lie down in bed and to rest the legs on a wall. With just 20 minutes in this position, you’ll notice how your legs feel lighter and relieved.
  • Hot water baths Another way of coping with swelling in the legs is to take slightly hot water baths, since by submerging the ankles and legs for about 30 minutes, you will encourage the release of retained fluids little by little.
  • Cold water showers: Cold water is also very beneficial in these cases, since it decompresses the tension of the blood vessels and favours their correct circulation, as well as toning the legs.
  • Massages with refreshing creams: The massages provide a relaxing and anti-stress effect and if we do it with the help of moisturizing cream previously cooled in the refrigerator, the results will be wonderful. To perform a lymphatic drainage massage, we must begin by massaging from the feet to the thighs, because this way we will activate the drainage of liquids in a more effective way. We recommend you choose a refreshing cream based on eucalyptus and rosemary. Here puedes encontrar 5 cremas para embarazadas
  • Drinking infusions or natural juices will also help you avoid fluid retention, as it purifies the body of toxins.
  • Sleeping on the side: Sleeping in this position, especially on the left side, greatly favors the correct flow of the heart to the extremities.

As with any other discomfort, fluid retention in pregnancy can be prevented and minimized just by putting these recommendations into practice, however we advise you that as soon as you notice that you have some of these symptoms, go to your doctor of confidence, as no one better than him to ensure that fluid retention is not a sign of other more serious conditions such as preeclampsia or hypertension.

If you have any doubt, consult your doctor to see the particular case of your pregnancy.

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