When you're pregnant, your belly isn't the only thing that swells up. As your pregnancy progresses, you may experience mild swelling throughout your body, particularly in the last trimester. Your hands, legs, ankles, feet, and even face get swollen, and that's perfectly normal during pregnancy.
According to various reports, 8 out of 10 pregnant women experience swelling at some stage of their pregnancy. But why does this happen? Read on to know the causes, treatments, and preventive measures for swelling during pregnancy!
Also called edema, swelling of face, hands, legs, ankles, and feet due to extra fluid retained by body tissues to meet the developing baby's growth needs. It usually starts around the fifth month of pregnancy and increases as you head towards the third trimester.
Edema during pregnancy is a common thing. You may notice more swelling in the last trimester of your pregnancy. It usually occurs due to the excessive retention of fluids in your body, which happens because of increased blood and fluid volume in your body.
This is the main cause of swelling in the body during pregnancy. When you're pregnant, your plasma volume leaps around 30-50 percent, which eventually increases your total blood volume. As your pregnancy progresses, your blood volume moves towards reaching its peak. That's why you experience swelling during pregnancy.
Your growing uterus puts pressure on the pelvic veins and vena cava, which is the large vein that returns blood from the lower body parts. This restricts blood circulation and forces the fluid from the vein into the tissues of your legs, ankles, and feet, causing swelling.
Rapidly increasing levels of various pregnancy hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, and hCG, adversely affect your vascular permeability, leading to swelling.
Thyroid, kidney, liver, lung diseases, and congestive heart failure (CHF) can also cause edema.
If you're taking medications for blood pressure or depression, you're more likely to suffer from swelling.
Apart from that, some other factors that may also contribute to swelling during pregnancy are:
While having mild swelling in different parts of your body is quite normal during pregnancy, you need prompt medical attention if you experience the following severe symptoms:
You may not be able to avoid swelling during pregnancy, but you can try these tips to prevent or ease it:
Experiencing swelling during pregnancy can sometimes be irksome, but don't let it get you down. It's a temporary side effect of pregnancy that will go away after a few days of childbirth. Nevertheless, you can try the tips mentioned above to prevent or ease mild swelling. However, if you notice any concerning symptoms, consult your doctor at the earliest.
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