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What to do for swelling?

609 Views 11 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  ThatLinGirl
I've never experienced swelling before, lucky me, but this time I look like I have tree trunks for legs. The peri commented about how swollen my calves looked, even through my pants.
You almost can't see my ankle bones anymore, and you can't see the tendon anymore on the back of my foot like you used to. My hands and fingers are swollen, and my fave is starting to get puffy. However, my urine was fine and my blood pressure are great, 102/62. I've been drinking lots of water, about half a gallon a day, salting food to taste, etc. I'm NOT on my feet much, in fact I was just released from bedrest. What else can I do to help reduce the swelling?
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Put your feet up periodically, salt food to taste... hmm. Lots of water! You're already doing all those things!

Maybe laying in the bathtub would help, if nothing else it would be nice and relaxing.

Are you drinking any herbal pg tea? I bet that would help too.
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Try increasing your protein intake. I was really miserably swollen last pregnancy. This time I keep track of my protein. Consistently, if I eat less than 70 g in a day, my hands and feet get puffy. Best advice I got from my MWs.
Hey there, Brinda!

So happy to hear you've made it this far, hooray for you! THIS is something I know about, lol! I've dealt with swelling in all of my pg's to some degree, some really bad (when I had preeclampsia), some milder (like right now), but all uncomfortable and annoying. However, five pg's worth of experience should go towards some greater good, right?

So here are some things for you to try:

1. Watermelon, cucumber, and dandelion leaf (either brewed into tea or eaten fresh with other greens as a salad) are all excellent natural diuretics and safe in pg. You can also slice up the cucumber and put it in water to drink as an alternative to eating it by itself -- cucumber water is quite refreshing!

2. Submersing yourself neck-deep in water for about a half-hour or so, as often as you can manage, is superb for ridding the body of excess fluid. A bathtub is okay in a pinch, a hottub is much better, a swimming pool is the best. FWIW, I've been floating in our hottub (turned down to bathwater temp) here at home every other night and I lose, on the average, about 3 FULL POUNDS of water weight during the course of those nights (I pee it out
), so it definitely has an effect!

3. Eat foods high in potassium (like bananas) or consider taking a potassium supplement -- potassium helps regulate the water balance in your cells, and it is often low in pg. Boosting it a bit can help you shed excess fluid.

4. Prenatal massage is not only wonderfully relaxing, but it helps improve circulation issues that lead to swelling. Acupuncture, too, can focus on water-retention points and help you get rid of fluids. I'm doing both right now for high BP issues, but the side benefits of reduced swelling have been really great!

Hope some of these are helpful for you, and that you don't have to deal with elephant ankles too much longer!

Kind regards,
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I came here searching for advice on swelling, too.
Just thought I'd mention that the time I was the worst swollen was with my first, and it started right after I got off bedrest (3 weeks of bedrest). Not sure why, but maybe the increased activity of finally being able to do things after being in bed so long makes the swelling worse...
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me too! i just got off bed rest and have been swollen since then, though never before. i'm having a hard time finding shoes to get my fat feet in! had anyone had any swelling in their lower back? this spot seems a little strange to me...?
Thanks SO MUCH for the suggestions! I increased my water intake so it's closer to about a gallon, and soak in the tub as full as I can get it, then put my feet above heart level for about an hour each night. My feet are doing much better, though I'm still confined to flip flops. I rest as much as I can, but I have that crazy restless legs thing, and if I lay for longer than 5 minutes, my sciatic nerve hurts so bad that I have to use crutches to get around for a bit. Especially in the middle of the night!

EmPaige, I haven't had any lower back swelling. All mine has been in my legs, hands and feet.
magnesium helps restless legs. try the food based suggestions first (i got 2 cucumbers today!), but also homeopathic nat. mur is safe in pg. you can find it at the good foods coop in lexington on southland drive
(don't know where in kaintuck you are), online at and the like. typing while snuggling a toddler, plz excuse me
oooh great advice on this thread - thanks mamas!

one week to go but my swelling is terrible, and painful
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I don't have too much to add...I had lots of swelling with PG#1, but this one I haven't had any problems (thankfully), except for the one time I ate Chinese food and forgot to specify no MSG-then I found my hands and feet began to puff. With PG#1 I was told to up my protein, soak in the tub as much as possible, salt food to taste, and rest with feet elevated above heart as much as possible (I treid to sleep this way to the extent that I could.

My sister said that she would HIGHLY recommend drainage massage. She found it very helpful with her second pregnancy, and found that she swelled much less than with her first. She said that it's a special massage technique that isn't really soothing, but rather works to push the fluids out of your tissues. She said as soon as she would stand up from the massage table she'd make a beeline for the bathroom.

As an aside, the one bonus of all that water weight with DD was that I looked great (by comparison) really soon after she was born because the water all flushed out and the post-partum me looked teeny tiny compared to the uber-swollen PG me.
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Thanks for posting this, and thanks for all of the good advice, mamas!! I have been having swelling in my hands, feet, and lower legs as well. It's a challenge being busy trying to get everything ready and making the time to stay off the feet. Must go swimming again soon! I REALLY miss the hot tub we left a year ago when we moved...
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I've been getting quite a bit more swollen just over the last few days.

What is working for me so far is leaving my computer desk for the couch where I can put my feet up high. I'm hoping it isn't going to make my baby spin to posterior - so I'm keeping a pillow under my back so I am still as upright as possible.

I've also read to lie on my left side for 15 or 30 min stretches throughout the day to help my body process the fluid. Just keeping my feet up is working well enough I haven't really gone to this step, but seeing how much better I am in the morning after all that rest on my side makes me think it might really help if it comes to it. I guess this would be a difficult one for you with the sciatica - sorry you're having to deal with that!
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