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Swollen legs during pregnancy

Updated: Apr 24, 2019

During pregnancy, the body produces more blood to cope with the needs of the developing baby. Swelling is normal in pregnancy due to additional blood and fluid.

Leg swelling is common as your body now retains more fluids and your growing womb adds pressure to your legs — causing them to swell. It is usually worse at night and in the third trimester. After the delivery, the swelling disappears within weeks as your body excretes the excessive fluid. To minimize the swelling, try elevating your feet and wear larger shoes. If there is a sudden leg swelling and facial puffiness, it could signify pre-eclampsia or hypertension. Consult your doctor to check your blood pressure.

How to cope with my swollen feet?

  • Avoid prolonged standing or walking

  • Rest with your feet elevated

  • Wear comfortable shoes and avoid high heels 

  • Wear supportive stockings

  • Swim in a pool

  • Use cold compresses on swollen areas

  • Reduce water and sodium (salt) intake

The buoyancy in water provides relief from the extra weight and reduces back pain. The edema (swelling) of the legs will be reduced. Exercise in a warm pool reduce muscle spasms. Aqua exercise burns more energy, which is excellent for weight control.

After you deliver your baby, the swelling will disappear pretty quickly as your body gets rid of the extra fluid. You may find yourself peeing and sweating a lot in the first few days after childbirth.

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