During your pregnancy, you will notice so many changes happening to your body. As your body prepares you for childbirth, it goes through so many transformations. Early in your pregnancy, these changes are usually hormonal, weight gain, fatigue, sleepiness, and other minor issues.
As your pregnancy progresses, you may experience something called edema or water retention during your last couple of months of your pregnancy. You may find your feet or ankles becoming swollen due to water retention in your body. This is usually normal during pregnancy, however in certain cases it may be a sign that something is wrong.
Causes of swelling during pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body actually does miracles for both you and your unborn baby. While you are pregnant, your body fluids increase and could reach up to 8 liters. This extra fluid is used to soften your body to prepare you for childbirth.
During your first couple of months of pregnancy, you may notice that your rings suddenly don’t fit you, or your shoes are too tight. You may notice your ankles or feet a bit swollen. This is all considered normal.
When should I worry about swelling during my pregnancy?
As mentioned before, swelling during pregnancy is normal if it occurs gradually and in areas such as your fingers, ankles, and feet. However, if you are noticing sudden major swelling during your pregnancy, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible as these may be signs of pre-eclampsia or a blood clot.
What is pre-eclampsia?
Pre-eclampsia is when a pregnant woman has high blood pressure, protein in her urine, or swollen feet, ankles, or legs. This condition can happen anytime between 20-34 weeks into your pregnancy.
You may suffer other symptoms such as the following:
- Persistent headache
- Abdominal pain
- Sudden excess weight gain
If you suffer from any of the above symptoms you must call your gynecologist as soon as possible and seek immediate help.
What is a blood clot?
A blood clot is a condition that may occur in your arms, legs, thighs, pelvis, or arms. If left untreated, this clot can travel to the lungs and cause major health complications and may even cause death. During pregnancy, women are more at risk of getting blood clots because their blood clots more easily to prepare her for the childbirth process. That is why it is important to always go for walks when you are pregnant to increase your blood flow.
Tips to prevent swelling during pregnancy:
- Avoid standing for long periods of time
- Avoid wearing any tight clothes, shoes, socks.
- Keep your feet elevated upwards as much as possible
- Drink lots and lots of fluids
- Try to go for walks as much as possible