A certain amount of swelling (called edema) is normal during pregnancy. Edema during pregnancy occurs most often in the legs. It can become painful if the area is very swollen. The skin may turn red and get very dry. Your feet might swell as well. Some women go up a shoe size during pregnancy.
Elevate your legs when possible. Elevating the legs usually makes the swelling less by the next morning. Swelling can begin during the last few months of pregnancy, and it may occur more often in the summer.
Let your doctor or nurse know if you have swelling in your hands or face, because this may be a sign of another problem. A clue that your hand is swollen is that your rings are too tight. Never take medications (water pills) for swelling unless a doctor prescribes them for you.
- Rest in bed on your side
- Lie down with your legs raised on a small footstool or several pillows
- Do not wear stockings or socks that have a tight band of elastic around the legs
- If you must sit a lot on the job, stand up and move around from time to time
- Try not to stand still for long periods of time
- Cut down on your sodium intake and make sure to drink plenty of water
If you are pregnant, the importance of prenatal care is of the utmost priority. It can help you prevent edema during pregnancy. Check out our article on prenatal care here.