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Swelling/Gestational edema

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

At my last OB appointment, my doctor commented that I was swollen.  I'm 31 weeks.  In my record she wrote: "1st degree edema in feet, hands and face. Diagnosis: Gestational edema."  She took my blood pressure and it was 114/85 and commented that it was fine.  She didn't say anything to me about it, other than commenting that I was swollen and must be eating lots of salt (which I am not - I'm not totally restricting, but not eating that much).  And she still said it was fine for me to travel by plane to the States next week where we will be having the baby.

Whenever I look of gestational edema, the only thing that comes up online is information about pre-eclampsia, which of course freaks me out quite a bit.  I know some degree of swelling is normal, and honestly I really don't notice swelling in my hands and face.  She kept acting like when she pressed down it left pitting (or indentations), which it definitely does on my feet and ankles, but I was watching her and really didn't feel like it was doing that on my hands even though she acted like it was.  And I've been pressing down on my hands and face at home and don't notice any pitting or indentations.


I'm also confused about the blood pressure reading (114/85), since it appears to be in the normal range, though the bottom number is just under borderline high.  The thing is, though, I had gotten a blood pressure reading at a pharmacy like a month ago and it was 119/86 and when I talked to the midwife we will be using in the US, she thought that it had been a bad reading.  She said that it was weird to have the top number low and the bottom number verging on the high side.  Anyways...I'm just confused.

I don't know if I should be worried because the doctor acted like it was out of the ordinary but then didn't really say anything about how I should deal with it or if it posed any risks.  And everything I see online seems very alarmist.  Should I be worried about flying next week (one 3 hour flight, 2 hour layover, then an hour long flight)?

post #2 of 4

if you are worried you can ask for your dr to do a 24 hour urine collection to check for protein. It doesnt sound too alarming though. And a few hours on a flight should be fine.


How rude for him to act like your face was swollen when it wasn't. Swelling can be normal.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Is a 24 hour collection the only way to find out?  We will be leaving for the States in a few days and there is a lab that does regular urinalysis where I could go, but since I'm almost headed off, not sure if it makes sense to try to go see the OB again.  May just wait to discuss it with my midwife.

I wrote her and she wrote back, actually.  She told me she still thought the blood pressure measurement sounded weird and we would have to see when I got there.  She said it could be due to anemia.  She also urged me to be very, very diligent with nutrition and diet.  So I have been.  I've cut out all sugar and refined flours and am getting lots of protein and iron rich foods.


Now that I'm thinking about it, I think I'll just wait to get any labwork done until after the trip.  None of my care providers seem concerned about me traveling and if anything I'll probably just get more anxious after I see the results and try to interpret them, and I don't need any more stress surrounding my trip.

post #4 of 4
A few weeks ago I got on the treadmill and all of a sudden my hands swelled up like crazy! They got red and itchy and I couldn't even close my fists they were so bad. Of course I freaked out and looked at google and figured I was dying, etc!!!! Then my husband came in and calmed me down, then took my blood pressure. It was fine. I called my OB and midwife and both said it happens sometimes. If your blood pressure was okay at the OB's office I wouldn't worry too much.

"Gestational Edema" sounds scary but in itself it just means swelling during pregnancy, which can happen and be totally benign. I wouldn't worry too much. There is a diet that maybe others can chime in about called the Brewers Diet that is good for preventing pre-eclampsia. Google it! ;-)

Hope you have a great trip and a peaceful birth. :-)
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