Leg Swelling During Pregnancy – What to Do?
One of the most joyous times in a woman’s life, pregnancy can also bring about quite unpleasant symptoms resulting from a growing uterus compressing major blood vessels causing poor blood circulation and leading to extremities’ swelling. Leg swelling during pregnancy is a condition, which often takes place in the later months, possibly in the second and third trimesters BabyCenter.com explains. http://www.babycenter.com/0_swollen-extremities-edema-during-pregnancy_230.bc Some of the swollen leg causes in pregnancy are hot and humid weather, lack of water intake, long periods of standing, overload of diuretics like beverages with caffeine, and taking in foods with too much sodium.
Some swelling in pregnancy is normal. Additional blood and fluids are needed for the growth of the baby and for the continued integrity of the skin to accommodatingly stretch as needed. In fact, 25 percent of the weight gain in a pregnant woman is water retention. Joints and muscles are in need of this extra fluid to prepare for the body for delivery. When bloatedness in pregnancy begins to become excessive, a woman can take precautions to control the swelling.
In extreme cases, if a pregnant woman gains weight more rapidly with elevated blood pressure or severe headaches, the doctor should be notified to rule out preeclampsia. Women with high amniotic fluid levels, who are overweight or carrying multiples are especially prone to developing leg swelling during pregnancy. When swelling spreads to the arms and face, this may be a signal of a dangerous emergency condition. Also when one ankle appears puffier than the other, it is also a dangerous sign of a possible blood clot.
If water retention relief of normal leg swelling during pregnancy is needed, there are a few steps the expectant mother could take. One is to continue moving throughout the day. If a sedentary job is keeping you sitting, take some stretching breaks. If standing for long periods of time, weight should be shifted from one side to the other as often as possible. Supportive hose will keep circulation moving better. Elevate the feet when resting to allow pooled blood and retained fluids from the legs to get moved up according to MayoClinic advice. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/swelling-during-pregnancy/AN01194 Sleeping on a side compared to back can help keep the pressure off the vena cava.
High heels should be avoided as they put even more pressure on swollen ankles and feet, flats are the better choice. Loose fitting clothing is best to allow blood circulation throughout the body. Drinking enough water will alleviate the water retention. A massage specific for pregnant women is thought to work wonders for water retention including leg swelling during pregnancy. Gentle and soothing foot massage using a few drops of ginger and grapefruit essential oils mixed with neutral massage oil like jojoba oil also promises to leave the pregnant woman with a great, relaxed feeling additionally providing anti-inflammatory effect.
Swimming also provides an excellent relief for leg swelling during pregnancy taking the weight of the feet and enhancing blood circulation.