Are you pregnant and feeling like a puff ball? It’s normal for your body to produce and retain more fluid during pregnancy, particularly during the last few months. This can cause slight swelling (called edema), particularly in the legs, feet and ankles, but also in the hands and face. This swelling may be worse towards the end of the day or during hot summer months.
While you may find it slightly annoying, the extra fluid in your body helps prepare you for pregnancy and delivery. It allows your tissues to handle the growth of your baby. It also prepares your pelvic area for labor and delivery. Much of the weight you gain during pregnancy is from extra fluids. The good news is that your body usually gets rid of them in the days after delivery.
During late pregnancy, your growing uterus puts pressure on the veins to your legs and feet. This slows blood circulation and causes even more fluid to build up in your feet and ankles – did somebody say cankles? Standing or sitting with your feet on the floor for long periods of time can increase the pressure on these veins. Put those tootsies up when you can!
Again, some swelling, particularly in the feet and ankles, is normal during pregnancy. But if your swelling is severe, contact your health provider. Click on this link to read some tips for relieving and managing normal swelling.