Swelling during pregnancy

Is pregnancy swelling normal?

Swelling up or feeling bloated during pregnancy is a natural reaction to all the extra fluid you’re carrying around. Most pregnant women feel it in their ankles and feet, especially after standing up for a long time. You might also notice your rings feeling tighter on your fingers or see some changes in your face. If you find your rings become uncomfortable it's best to remove them in case they get stuck!

Swelling that increases as the day progresses, especially getting worse towards the evening, is often due to the day’s activities or hot weather.

Although it may be uncomfortable, pregnancy swelling without other symptoms is usually nothing to worry about and isn’t harmful to you or your baby. But if your swelling is sudden and excessive, then you may need to get your blood pressure checked so talk to your midwife if you are concerned.

eating apple

Tips to reduce swelling during pregnancy

  • Eating healthily can help to keep any puffiness down. Try to avoid salty foods which can dehydrate you.
  • Try to exercise regularly - going for a walk is a great way to exercise when pregnant.
  • Drink lots of water, at least six to eight glasses per day. If you don’t drink enough, your body might try to retain even more water and that will make you puffier.
  • Take rests during the day whenever you can, with your feet raised up above hip level.
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time.
  • A gentle massage where the swelling is can help.
  • You may find that sleeping on your left hand side helps, too.
  • Wear comfortable shoes (avoid high straps for example).
  • Do foot exercises, bend and stretch your feet vigorously up and down 30 times, and rotate your feet in circles 8 times each way.

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