Do you think humidity could have anything to do with it? We're in North Carolina now, and with my first I had a lot of swelling in Miami, Florida. The others were born in New Mexico where it was dry and high altitude.
Alicia + James = Gabriel (9), Uriah (7), Ayla (5), Noah (3), Azriel (1), and due Oct. 2011
Hey Nena, I know you are creepen on me. Get a life.
If I'm standing/walking for too long my feet start to swell. You can't really see the difference but I can feel it, so it's very mild. I try to swim once a week and have started taking baths instead of showers to help minimize the swelling as well.
Grace - wife to Jeff and mama to Nigella (11/08) and Orrin (01/10)- expecting a new addition (05/12)! Life is a whirlwind, but I'm learning to enjoy the ride!
If you can take a bath or preferably get to a swimming pool where you can get sumberged up to your neck, you'll have the best luck in getting rid of the water retention.
Decreasing your salt intake can do more damage than if you increased your salt intake and increased your water intake. You need the salt to help get rid of the water.
Dr. Brewer's site will really help you though.
Mom to 9 ~*~ 4 4 & 1(MtF) ~*~
Eating protein also increases the osmotic pressure in the circulatory system. And eating calories (wholesome, unrefined, complex carbs) helps to preserve the precious proteins that you eat. If you don't get enough calories, you will end up burning some of your precious proteins for energy for all of the various kinds of work that your body is doing.
The website linked to in the last post will tell you more about how that works.
Protein in the urine can indicate protein deficiency that is leading to poor performance by your kidneys (and poor state of the liver as well, but that is tested via blood tests not urine). This is unlike glucose in urine, which indicates *too much* sugar in your system that your kidneys are helping you to get rid of. Your kidneys are not supposed to 'help you get rid of' protein. The appearance of protein in the urine indicates that the kidneys are not properly doing their nutrient-recycling job--which is one of many tasks the kidneys are responsible for, along with production of the hormones renin and angiotensin that help you modulate blood pressure appropriately.
Some swelling of lower extremities is normal for many pregnant women. Even the hands, depending on various circumstances of your life. Swelling should reduce noticeably, if not completely disappear, after sleep, and the fact that it doesn't do so is a cautionary sign for me. Yes, heat and humidity can make a difference in the amount of reduction of swelling overnight--but you should still see *some* difference. Drinking more fluids, and salting to taste are important in maintaining proper osmosis and other circulatory/blood factors that help your fluids stay in your bloodstream rather than leaking out.
Exercise is also important--at least some gentle exercise, 3-5times a week for at least 20-30 minutes--to maintain healthy circulation/oxygenation and keep all of your systems running well. Swimming is especially good for swelling as the hydrostatic pressure is added to the muscular activity in helping force fluids up from the feet/ankles and back into circulation. Again, doesn't have to be too vigorous for your fitness level right now--but continuous for a time.
If you really are working up to pre-eclampsia, then it is important to learn more, and watch all of your signs more carefully for a time while you figure it out. Your blood pressure may rise or may not, not all women w/pre-e experience a significant b/p elevation, or at least not until very late in the game, and suddenly (a rise of diastolic--the lower number--of 15 or more points from your usual). Yes, some women experience pre-eclampsia as a result of inadequate protein intake. If you do test and find protein in your urine, then increasing your protein should show a noticeable change in your urine test within a week or so. However, research on pre-e suggests that there are many possible root causes for it--most of them dietary: deficiencies of calcium, omega3 fatty acids, the 'anti-oxidant' vitamins. It is also true for some women that excessive life stress can lead to sufficient physiological strain to bring on pre-e--once your b/p rises as a result of stress, for instance, you may no longer be adequately circulating oxygen/nutrients to yourself or baby, leading to other system breakdown and the group of symptoms we call 'pre-eclamspsia'. It is just as problematic either way, though! While you're considering diet and exercise, don't forget to include a review of life-stressors and whether or not you are managing stress well enough.
So, seems like a good time to learn more, do a diet review, take on more exercise if you don't already--take a pro-active approach to wholeness/welness for yourself and baby.
I suspect that this study simply underlines what the Brewer Principles are saying--that any time a pregnant woman adds a certain level of activity to her life (either recreationally or "activities of daily living"), she needs to add calories and/or salt to her diet to compensate for the extra calories burned and/or extra salt lost through sweat.
I also recommend this article by Anne Frye, one of our leading experts on the Brewer Principles. According to her, one of the earliest symptoms of the pre-eclampsia syndrome is a rising hgb/hct. As the blood volume falls, the blood becomes more "concentrated", and the hgb/hct appears to rise. So one of my recommendations for women who have had PE before, or who fear that they may be developing PE, is that they should request that their birth attendant (midwife or doctor) check their hgb/hct at every prenatal visit. By doing this, they can hopefully catch a falling blood volume early and engage some nutritional therapies which can correct that issue before it triggers the cascade of effects which culminate in PIH, PE, HELLP, IUGR, placental abruption, and/or premature labor.
The amount of water in the blood normally *increases* during pregnancy, slowly increasing until stabilizing at around 28wks. This is 'blood fluid expansion' and is necessary in pregnancy for a variety of reasons. During the time of fluid expansion within the circulation, hemaglobin and hematocrit usually fall at least a bit--which is normal, because your blood becomes more diluted with water. Hgb and Hct are not really lower than they were (if you're not anemic), they are the same, and still healthy for you/baby--the lower numbers only reflect a greater proportion of water in your blood compared to the amount of red blood cells and their oxygen-carrying factors.
But that water should stay inside your veins, inside your blood! When you are not healthy enough in pregnancy, those needed fluids leach out of your veins and into the tissues, into the spaces between cells of your body. THis is what we see as swelling, 'edema'. Thus, your blood fluid level reduces, your blood is not holding enough water and so, it will seem that your hgb and hct are rising IF you are swelling due to pre-e. I agree that this is another sign to watch for--though what I suggested is probably easier to begin with, since you can buy urine test sticks easily and test at home, but most people would have to see a Dr or Mw to get the blood test necessary for looking at hgb/hct.
All that said, most often swelling of extremities occurs because as pregnancy progresses, the weight of baby/uterus tends to slightly constrict veins that work to return blood from the feet, slowing down your circulation just enough to allow some fluids to leak out of your vessels, into tissues. This is why lying down/sleeping should help--with gravity out of the equation, your body should be able to recapture those fluids and fairly easily return them to bloodstream. Excercise helps by creating a stronger muscular pump to aid in more more efficient circulation to reduce occurrence of swelling as well as decrease swelling already present.
And yes it is true that overexercising can be counterproductive....but in my experience, only women athletes are prone to doing this in pregnancy The rest of us need rather more encouragement to exercise at all. Use of one's common sense is probably the best guide here.
And as for salt: salting *to taste* is very important. There is no one right amount of salt, you don't need to oversalt your food--you can trust that your taste for salt will lead you aright in this.
I agree that some level of exercise is beneficial in pregnancy. I was surprised, however, about how little exercise was seen to cause problems in this study.
"The adjusted figures suggest there was a 65% increase in risk for women who engaged in any intensity of physical activity for 270 to 419 minutes a week, and a 78% increase for those doing more than 420 minutes, compared to those who did no exercise."
The 270-minutes-a-week level works out to only 30-40 minutes of exercise a day.
These other two reports may help to clarify more about what this study was suggesting.
This is just the abstract of the study itself...
Having said all of that, it still seems to me that women can offset the potential risks of their exercise if they just make sure that they are careful to compensate for the calorie loss and salt loss by adding extra calories and salt in their diet.
On the salt issue, I basically agree--salting "to taste" is the safest, most accurate way to replace salt according to the body's needs. At the same time, however, in this culture we have been so salt-conscious for so long that it seems to me that many people are so accustomed to suppressing their instincts regarding what their taste-buds are trying to tell them, that sometimes pregnant moms need to salt beyond what they think that their taste buds are telling them, to just get the minimum of what they need. According to the Brewers, if a mother has healthy kidneys getting some extra salt is less problematic than the potential of not getting enough, because healthy kidneys will simply excrete whatever amount of salt is not needed. There was also a study done in which mothers were not only given salt shakers with each meal and encouraged to salt their food, they were also given salt tablets after each meal. None of the mothers had any bad effects from this experiment. This was obviously an unethical study to conduct, because it could not be known ahead of time that such an experiment would have the results that it did, but at least we can benefit from the fact that it was done and showed that a healthy pregnant mom will not suffer any ill effects from getting more salt than she needs.
Calcium and magnesium also control bp during pg. I am taking a calcium/magnesium supplement plus potassium and prenatals.
When life knocks you on your knees, you're in the perfect position to pray!