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swelling/water retention after birth

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi. This is actually for a friend. She gave birth a week ago via c/s and is having horrible problems with swelling and water retention. It actually got worse after the baby was born. She spoke to her doctor again today and he told her not to worry about it. But she is really uncomfortable. Is there anything she can take? She was plannign on eating a whole bunch of watermelon (natural diuretic) today and see if that pushed any of the fluids out. She is breastfeeding.

post #2 of 12
My water retention was worst a few days after the c-section. They really pump you full of fluids. As soon as I got home I started dosing on natrum muriaticum. I could see my ankles and wrists again within a few days. Hope this works for your friend! Please tell her it will get better...
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Is natrium muriatacum available at most health food stores? I will let her know about this. Thanks for the recommendation.

Anyone else?
post #4 of 12
what's her blood pressure? While rare, she does want to keep an eye on it because excessive swelling can be a sign of postpartum pre-eclampsia.
post #5 of 12
Originally Posted by ksera05 View Post
what's her blood pressure? While rare, she does want to keep an eye on it because excessive swelling can be a sign of postpartum pre-eclampsia.

I second this.

Otherwise, it's normal.

I was completely unprepared for how swollen I would be after my c-sections. Around day 7 post-op, I started sweating. And sweating. And sweating some more. Within 48 hours, I'd lost 20+ pounds each time, and my fingers and toes looked freakishly long after thinning out from all the swelling.

After my last c/s, I had 3+ pitting edema all the way up to my groin area. The previous two resulted in pitting edema that stopped at my knees, so that was an unpleasant surprise. My panties were super tight in the legs and left big indentations for the first week.

If it's still as bad by day 10 or so, or if it gets any worse, I'd make an appointment to be seen. I have a friend that couldn't bend her legs at the knee for almost a full week after her crash section. She was pre-eclamptic with concern for developing HELLP syndrome prior to delivery, so I'm sure that didn't help. Plus she'd been on IV fluids and mag for 5 weeks which also didn't help in terms of swelling.
post #6 of 12
Eat lots of watermelon and cucumber or celery (natural diuretics).

What's her bp?

IV fluids can cause a LOT of water retention...unfortunetely...

Also encourage her to eat plenty of magnesium rich foods (or supplement)...
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
wow! thanks for all your help, mamas! I don't know what her bp is now, but I know prior to delivery, she is always on the low side. But I will definitely forward her all this info.

Do you feel that natural diuretics (in as large quantities as she can handle) are safe while she is nursing? Can she release the water too quickly?

Thanks again for all this helpful info!
post #8 of 12
I know that after caesarean sections, the hospitals push fluids to prevent shock and to alleviate postpartum bleeding and loss of fluids. They leave the intravenous solutions hooked up for a seemingly long time after delivery, so I am sure they have their reasons.
post #9 of 12
I was freakishly swollen before my c-section, and then, it just got worse. Like a PP, I had pitting edema up through my thighs. If I remember correctly, it got suddenly better around day 7-8.
post #10 of 12
I second the other suggestions. I just want to add parsley to the list of natural diuretics and suggest the lowest potency Natrum muraticum you can find.... definitely an *X* potency, 3, 6, or 12 would be great (6X is easiest to find in HFSs) but 24 or 30 X will work too.

Not only is the issue from being pumped full of fluids *but* the pitocin they use to clamp the uterus down to prevent PPH is an anti-diuretic. Your body has to discharge water from the increased blood volume of pregnancy *plus* the volume of the IV fluids *and* an anti-diuretic in high doses really sets women up for swelling and engorgement issues.


ETA: Low potencies mean you'll need to dose more frequently *but* it will be more effective than higher potencies in rebalancing electrolyte levels and in releasing retained water.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Again, thank you so much for all your help!
post #12 of 12
Just ditto that it took a looooong time (over a week) for my swelling post-stupid op to go down.
I never thought it would! (My little brother was kind enough to comment that I looked like butt and really swollen in the first pictures just after recovery that my mom had promised to show nobody. Yeah. Had been on IVs for hours at that point. What did he expect? )

I increased my water, too. I had been on Gatorade some at the hospital and that causes retention, too, w/ the Na. The better I was w/ drinking water, the more it helped get rid of the swelling. (Weird how more water actually helps decrease swelling, huh? Our bodies are amazing!)
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