With pregnancy, comes weight gain, unsightly stretch marks and painful swellings. Nonetheless, motherhood is an amazing phase and most women going through the sweet and sour struggle of pregnancy! There are times your body feels extra heavy and taking a step further feels like lifting an iron leg! As pregnancy progresses, there is noticeable swelling of ankles, feet, hands and sometimes, face too! This swelling may or may not be accompanied by pain. This is the most common symptom of fluid retention during pregnancy. Here we discuss about 5 Tips To Minimize Water Retention During Pregnancy
What Is Fluid Retention?
Your body is made up of 70% water and for optimum functioning we must supply it with ample water. The body needs even more fluid when a baby is growing inside it. In fact, the body produces 50% more fluids during pregnancy. When this fluid level gets unbalanced, in such as way that, your body starts retaining water, rather than maintaining the balance, then this is termed as water or fluid retention. Swelling or medically termed ‘edema‘ is a sign of fluid retention.
Causes Of Water Retention During Pregnancy
The quantity of fluid naturally increases in the body with pregnancy and the inability to regulate it efficiently leads to fluid retention. A few causes leading to fluid retention during pregnancy include:
1. Hormonal imbalance
The hormonal imbalance during gestation period causes unpleasant body changes during pregnancy. In addition to bloating, depression and food cravings in pregnancy, hormonal imbalance is also the culprit behind fluid retention. Higher levels of potassium and sodium
2. Standing for prolonged period
Puts pressure on veins carrying blood and causes retention by allowing the fluids to settle in the lower leg tissues. This will be seen as swelling in lower legs and feet
3. Increased womb size
The increased pressure in abdomen due to the growing size of womb reduces or slows down the functioning of nerves in the body leading to fluid retention
4. Low protein level
Proteins also help in maintaining water level among tissues and capillaries. The protein deficiency may occur in pregnancy due to inadequate dietary intake which in turn may result in fluid retention
5 Tips To Minimize Fluid Retention During Pregnancy
Diuretics are usually not prescribed during pregnancy. Therefore, to help you counter this situation, below are a few simple tips. Follow the below instructions and say bye bye to fluid retention:
1. Elevate your feet
Sitting with your legs hanging down from the seat hampers blood circulation and may cause swelling and mild pain. Remember long hours of flight? During pregnancy, the veins carrying blood from lower body to the heart are hampered with their ability due to growing pelvic pressure. Due to this the blood accumulates in the capillaries down the legs causing swelling. Therefore, to improve circulation and keep the flow going, sit with the feet up on stool
2. Walk and rest
Standing or sitting in same position for long periods of time can aggravate swelling of extremities. In order to boost circulation, its advisable to move around after some time. Make a routine that involves exercise and allows you to take ample rest as well. A bit of sweating opens ways for fluids to be let out!
3. Wear comfortable clothes and footwear
Tight or uncomfortable footwear and clothes both can exacerbate fluid retention. They restrict flow as well as create warmth, which further presents discomfort. Therefore, dress in airy and reasonably loose dresses. Similarly steer clear of tight and uncomfortable heels.
4. Go easy on salt
Excessive salt can cause fluid retention in anyone. The high amount of sodium in processed and dried salty food may trigger fluid retention. Completely shunning salt is not recommended, have just what is required! Avoid adding table salt to your food, and foods that contain excessive salts such as some chips and other snacks
5. Stay hydrated
Drinking water when you are already suffering from fluid retention sound awkward. However, it is important to note that you still need to drink plenty of water to keep your kidneys functioning well! So do not give up on 8 glasses of water each day! Try fresh fruit juices and coconut water, which have natural salts and nutrients. This in turn helps balance sodium-potassium levels in the body which may also be the contributing factors of fluid retention
Natural Diuretics During Pregnancy For Getting Rid Of Water Retention
Diuretics help in removing fluid from the body through urination. Herbal concoctions, garlic, peppermint, aubergine, garlic and onion can naturally help you ease fluid retention. Fruits such as apples, bananas and grapes also have diuretic effect. Another way to calm down fluid retention would be gently massaging the affected area. This improves blood circulation. Since fluid retention is a common phenomenon during pregnancy, it’s nothing to worry about. But if the swelling does not improve even a week after following above tips and measures or your skin dimples when pressed, suffer from diabetes or witness swelling of other body parts, then do visit your obstetrician.
Other Preventive Methods For Fluid Retention During Pregnancy
If you have yet not given up alcohol, do that now. Dehydrating, caffeinated products should not be a part of your diet. Limit the intake of coffee and tea, and add lots of healthy and fresh fruits to your daily diet. Exercising regularly will also help in minimizing fluid retention. Avoid salty products like chips and peanuts, lead a stress free life, and take ample rest – you will likely be able to combat fluid retention during pregnancy. Though water retention during pregnancy could seem unpleasant, yet the good news is that it will go away with the birth of the baby. Hope this 5 Tips To Minimize Water Retention During Pregnancy is useful to you.