When you’re pregnant, your belly isn’t the only part of your body that swells. Your feet, ankles, legs, hands and even your face can get a little puffy. Swelling during pregnancy is usually normal. The body retains extra blood and fluid to keep the joints, tissues and skin supple enough to expand as the baby grows. (However, if you experience sudden swelling in your face and hands, consult your doctor as it could be preeclampsia.) Just because some swelling is normal, doesn’t mean you have to put up with it.
Spend as little time on your feet as possible, particularly on warm days. When you are sitting, elevate your feet, preferably so that they are above your heart (sitting in a reclining chair is ideal). Don’t stay seated for more than an hour or two at a stretch– you’ll need to walk around to keep the blood circulation flowing properly. Also elevate your feet when you lie down. Try to rest for 10 to 15 minutes per day, three or four times a day, with your feet around 12 inches above your heart.
Salt causes the body to retain fluid. Cut back on salt and high-sodium products to reduce swelling. Naturally, you’ll want to avoid obvious items such as bacon, sausage, ham, pickles, olives and “junk food” such as chips, fries and hot dogs. But also take care to steer clear of prepackaged foods, such as canned soups, frozen pizza and microwave dinners, which tend to be high in sodium. Certain cheeses, such as Parmesan and Roquefort, are also high-sodium products and should be avoided.
Drink eight to ten glasses of water per day, particularly in warm weather. Water helps flush toxins from the body and can reduce water retention. Avoid drinking fluids that contain caffeine (for example, tea, coffee or cola), as caffeine can dehydrate you and cause your body to respond by retaining even more water.
Wear Support Stockings
Support compression hose should be put on in the morning. This will help the blood circulating in your leg to flow upward to the heart instead of pooling in your feet and ankles.