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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With my last pregnancy I had absolutely horrible swelling in my feet and legs. If I can find a picture I'll have to post it because it was horrible to look at. I'd really like to avoid that this time around because I think it really contributed to some of the complications during labor and it made the healing process longer and harder as well. I've upped my water intake this time around but does anyone have any suggestions or any advice they've been given for it? My OB said there's nothing that can be done to prevent it but I just don't want to believe that!
 

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I haven't heard much that can be done about it besides upping the water intake. I've taken to soaking my feet in icy Epsom salt water to help ease the pain in my feet and swelling on rough days.
 

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Lots of water! Epsom salt baths, nettle and dandelion tea (go a bit easy on the dandelion/do more nettle than dandelion), elevation and massage, and some people say supplementation with vit e and c is helpful. Haven't tested out that last one, but should as my own swelling is getting a bit ridiculous! Mine is more related to pelvic circulation (it's terrible), and chiro would help if we could only afford it! It is nasty though, hey?
 

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DDC here from June, eat Protein and drink water! I was having a horrible time with swelling starting at 34 weeks and couldn't figure out why, it was worse in the morning instead of the evenings which was counter-intuitive to the whole "stay off your feet" thing that most people recommend. After ensuring I eat protein at every meal my feet are back to normal at 38 weeks.
 

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I had crazy water retention with both of my pregnancies and polyhydramnios (excess aminotic fluid) in the second one. My midwife suggested that it might have some relationship to my blood sugar, which was also somewhat unstable during my pregnancies (but still not bad enough to test positive for gestational diabetes). It was really confusing for me because I wasn't eating sweets during my pregnancy, but just the fact that I was going too long between meals and letting my blood sugar get too low I think had a lot to do with it.

Anyway, if that sounds like something that might be going on for you I suggest that you look further into it. I thought that I understood it going in, but I really didn't have enough knowledge about keeping my blood sugar in a healthy range so I wasn't doing a good job with it. I think that if I had it would have made a dramatic difference in my fluid retention and the way that labor went for me.

Otherwise, I would second the epsom salt baths, and nettle/dandelion greens tea. Vitamin B6 and magnesium also play a role in fluid balance too. Being too low on them can make you retain fluid (according to Anne Frye's Holistic Midwifery Vol I). Most prenatals do have B6 in them, but your body absorbs it better from food. Pork, turkey, chicken, spinach, sunflower seeds, salmon and sweet potatoes are all high in B6. Your body also needs magnesium, zinc, riboflavin and the other B vitamins (which nutritional yeast is a good source of). Getting enough protein in general (60 to 80g a day while pregnant) is thought to be very important for preventing fluid retention too (again Anne Frye talks about this in her books as a way to prevent preeclampsia citing the work of Dr. Brewer).

Other than that, getting regular exercise (especially walking) helps to maintain circulation and resting with your legs up or doing legs up the wall pose can help the fluid return from your legs too.

That's all that I've got, according to my research and experience. I'll be watching this thread though because I'm always open to new info about it since I'm determined to beat fluid retention if I ever have another pregnancy.

Best of luck. Wishing you a healthy pregnancy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone - I will try everything that was suggested! I can't remember when I started swelling last pregnancy but hopefully I can just avoid it all together.
 
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