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Swelling During Pregnancy
When parts of body for example feet, ankles, hands etc. are swollen for any reason the condition is called Edema. It occurs when excess body fluids are retained in your body tissues and especially around the feet, ankles, and the hands. There are many cases of edema that have been experienced today, but the most consistent ones happen in pregnancy. But in pregnancy they are usually mild and could be easily referred to as normal.
What Causes Edema?
Typically, edema is caused by changes in your blood chemistry. These changes will cause some of the body fluids to shift into your tissues for quite a long time leading to mild swelling through- out your pregnancy or on the larger part of it.
Again edema in pregnancy could also be caused by your growing uterus. When your ramp grows to create room for the growing baby, it will put pressure on your pelvic veins and specifically the larger vein that sits on the right side of the body and carries the blood from your lower limbs into the heart (vena cava). When this vein is pressured it slows the return of the blood from the lower limbs (legs) causing it to sit, be retained, and get pooled in your feet. This will force all the fluids from your veins into the tissues of your feet or even ankles.
When Does It Occur?
In pregnancy, and owing to the causes that we have highlighted, edema is likely to disturb you in the third and last trimester of your pregnancy. It also tends to be pretty worse during the day and when there is a lot of heat.
Who Is A Candidate?
Everyone is potentially at risk or getting edema. But in pregnancy, women with excess amniotic fluids or those that are carrying more than one baby are at a higher risk of experiencing edema. The signs of excess amniotic fluids are unusual abdominal discomfort, shortness of breath, and increased back pains. Visit your obstetrician (medical doctor that specializes in pregnancy and birth management) to carry out some tests to determine if the fluid is excess.
When Is It Dangerous?
Like we pointed out, certain amount of edema in pregnancy is normal. However during specific times it can be exceedingly dangerous for both you and the baby. These include when it comes with swellings on the face or any signs of puffiness around the eyes. Sometimes, this is often a sign of preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia causes blood vessels to constrict. Because of this it causes high blood pressure and thus reduces blood flow through your body organs. This could affect the way your liver, kidneys, and brain operate. When less blood flows to the uterus it can also lead to poor growth of the kid, placental abruption, and in overall other effects of prematurity.
The other dangerous signs include when one leg, ankle, or hand is swollen more than the other and if you have extreme swelling, pain, or tenderness in say your calf or even origin, and if you cannot walk straight. This could mean blood clot in your veins and must then be addresses immediately.
How Can I Address It?
There are a number of ways that you can relive any forms of increased pressure on your vein apart from just lying sideways. They include the following.
• Putting your legs in a raised position whenever you can.
• Sitting with your ankles and legs open and not crossed.
• Stretching your legs frequently while sitting or when you can.
• Joining massage therapy sessions such as pregnancy massage.
• Taking regular breaks between sitting and standing around.
• Wearing comfortable shoes that don’t put pressure on your legs.
• Walking, cycling, swimming, and possibly a class of aerobics.
There are so many discomforts that can easily come with edema. However there are so many ways to address it including massage.