15 Ways to Reduce Swelling When You're Pregnant
If you're pregnant, you may be experiencing swelling in your hands, feet, and other areas of your body. This is a common symptom of pregnancy, but it can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to help manage the swelling. In this blog post, we'll discuss 15 ways to reduce swelling when you're pregnant. Read on to learn more about how to reduce the discomfort associated with pregnancy-related swelling.
1) Wear loose, comfortable clothing
When pregnant, it’s important to wear clothing that is not too tight or restrictive. This helps ensure that blood and other fluids can circulate more easily throughout your body and avoid swelling in your ankles, feet, and hands. Try to wear light and airy fabrics that will not hold onto extra moisture. Wearing light, comfortable shoes like sandals can also help reduce swelling by providing adequate support without being too tight. Additionally, if you’re going to be standing for a long time, try wearing low-heeled shoes that are designed to provide good support for pregnant women. Finally, don’t forget to take off tight socks and jewelry as these can also restrict circulation and cause uncomfortable swelling.
2) Avoid standing for long periods of time
Standing for long periods of time can be a difficult task during pregnancy, especially due to the increased swelling in your feet, ankles, and legs. It is important to take breaks from standing, as this can help reduce the amount of swelling you are experiencing. Try taking regular breaks every 30 minutes or so and sitting or reclining with your legs elevated. If possible, try to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. Additionally, wearing comfortable shoes with good arch support can help reduce strain on your legs when standing.
3) Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can help you manage swelling when you’re pregnant. Not only does it improve your overall health, but it can also help to reduce swelling in your feet, ankles, and legs. Try low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga to get your heart rate up and keep your body limber. These activities will also help strengthen your muscles, which can support the extra weight of pregnancy. Make sure to discuss any exercise plan with your doctor before beginning.
4) Sleep on your left side
Sleeping on your left side can help reduce swelling in pregnancy. The baby and uterus will be pressing down on your major veins, which can increase blood circulation and reduce fluid retention. Additionally, sleeping on your left side can improve kidney function, allowing your body to eliminate more fluid.
To get the most benefit from sleeping on your left side, use a firm pillow between your legs and keep your legs slightly elevated. You should also avoid lying flat on your back, as this can worsen swelling.
It’s important to note that sleeping on your left side may not be comfortable for everyone. If you find it uncomfortable or have difficulty sleeping in this position, there are other ways to manage swelling in pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about any concerns or issues you’re having with sleep during pregnancy.
5) Prop up your legs when possible
When you’re pregnant, you may find that your feet and ankles swell up more than usual. This is especially true for women who spend a lot of time on their feet. To help manage this swelling, try propping up your legs when you can. Investing in a pair of elevated leg pillows or sitting with your legs propped up on a chair can make a world of difference. It's important to keep your legs elevated at least 6-12 inches off the ground. This helps to reduce swelling by allowing the blood to flow more freely through the body. Additionally, lying on your back with your feet resting on a wall can also be helpful.
By propping up your legs whenever possible, you can help reduce swelling associated with pregnancy and ensure that you remain comfortable and healthy throughout your journey.
6) Drink plenty of fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids is one of the best ways to reduce swelling when you’re pregnant. You should aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day, or more if you’re exercising or in a hot environment. Staying hydrated helps your body to flush out excess salt and toxins, which can contribute to swelling. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol, as these can act as diuretics and dehydrate you. If plain water doesn’t sound appealing, try adding fresh fruit or herbs for flavor. Additionally, if you’re struggling to drink enough fluids, try setting reminders throughout the day to ensure that you’re staying hydrated.
7) Avoid salt
Salt can cause water retention and contribute to swelling. While you don’t need to cut out salt entirely, limiting your intake may help with swelling. Try using herbs and spices to flavor your food instead of adding extra salt. Check the nutrition labels on processed and packaged foods and opt for low-sodium options when possible. It’s also important to limit sodium from natural sources, like dairy and certain meats, as these can add up quickly. Avoid adding extra salt to your meals or snacks and be mindful of any salty condiments you may be using.
8) Soak in a cool bath
Taking a cool bath can be an effective way to help manage swelling during pregnancy. Cooler temperatures help reduce inflammation, while the buoyancy of the water can help relieve pressure on your joints and muscles.
When taking a cool bath, try to keep the water temperature between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Soak in the bath for around 15 to 20 minutes. Adding a few drops of essential oils, such as lavender or eucalyptus, can add an extra soothing effect.
Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after taking a cool bath, as this will help you stay hydrated and can help with swelling. You should also listen to your body and take care not to overdo it — if you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded during your soak, it’s best to get out and rest.
9) Use a cold compress
A cold compress can help reduce swelling in pregnant women by helping to constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation. To make a cold compress, fill a clean cloth or towel with cold water, wring it out, and place it on the swollen area for up to 10 minutes at a time. You can also use a store-bought ice pack for this purpose. Avoid direct contact with your skin by wrapping the cold compress in a thin cloth first. If you experience any discomfort or have an underlying medical condition, consult your doctor before using a cold compress.
10) Try pregnancy-safe essential oils
Essential oils can be an effective way to help manage swelling when you’re pregnant. However, it’s important to choose essential oils that are safe to use during pregnancy. Some of the best pregnancy-safe essential oils include lavender, peppermint, frankincense, chamomile, and rosemary.
To use essential oils safely during pregnancy, you can mix them with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil, which can help dilute the potency of the oil and reduce skin irritation. You can then apply the mixture directly to the area of your body that is swollen.
You can also create a relaxing bath soak by adding 10 to 15 drops of essential oil to your bathwater. This can be especially beneficial if you’re experiencing swelling in your feet and ankles. Soaking in the tub for 20 minutes can also help reduce tension and stress, which can often contribute to swollen ankles and feet.
Finally, you can inhale essential oils using a diffuser or steam inhalation. This method can help clear your nasal passages and provide relief from congestion, which can lead to swelling in the body.
Ultimately, it’s important to do your research and speak to a doctor before using any type of essential oil while pregnant. With the right guidance and caution, however, essential oils can be an effective way to help manage swelling when you’re pregnant.
11) Eat foods rich in potassium
Potassium is a mineral that helps to reduce swelling. Eating foods rich in potassium can help to regulate water balance and reduce fluid retention in the body. Some foods rich in potassium are bananas, spinach, avocados, sweet potatoes, salmon, yogurt, oranges, and tomatoes.
Bananas are especially beneficial as they contain high levels of vitamin B6, which helps to improve circulation in your body and reduce swelling. You can also try adding spinach to salads or smoothies as it is high in iron and magnesium, which can help reduce swelling. Avocados and sweet potatoes are also excellent sources of potassium and magnesium.
In addition to eating foods rich in potassium, you should also avoid eating processed and fast foods as they can contribute to inflammation in the body. Lastly, make sure to drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.
12) Wear supportive shoes
It's important to wear supportive shoes during pregnancy, as it can help with swelling and provide extra comfort. Look for shoes with a low heel and good arch support, as these can help reduce pressure on your feet and legs. You should also make sure to choose shoes that fit properly and don't squeeze or pinch your feet. Avoid wearing high heels, as they can cause extra strain on your feet and increase swelling. Also, make sure to take your shoes off at the end of the day to give your feet a break and allow them to rest.
13) Avoid hot tubs and saunas
When you're pregnant, it's important to avoid activities that could potentially increase your risk of overheating and dehydration. Hot tubs and saunas can both raise your body temperature, which can be dangerous for a pregnant woman. Prolonged exposure to heat can be harmful to your developing baby, so it's best to steer clear of these activities when you are expecting.
If you are looking for some relaxation while pregnant, try taking a cool bath or using a cold compress. This will help to reduce swelling and provide relief without the risk associated with hot tubs and saunas. It's also a great way to take care of yourself and keep your body temperature regulated.
14) Take breaks during long car rides
Long car rides can be tiring, especially when you are pregnant. Taking regular breaks is essential for both you and your baby’s health and comfort. During your breaks, make sure to get out of the car and stretch your legs for at least 10 minutes. Doing so will help reduce swelling in your feet and ankles. Consider walking around during your break, if it is safe to do so, as this can help improve your circulation and prevent further swelling. Make sure to drink plenty of water during your break to stay hydrated. It is also important to rest when you need to, so if you are feeling fatigued or exhausted, take a break and rest until you feel ready to get back on the road.
15) Keep your skin moisturized
When it comes to managing swelling during pregnancy, keeping your skin moisturized can be incredibly helpful. This is because dry skin can cause the body to retain fluids, leading to swelling in the ankles, feet, and hands. By making sure that your skin is hydrated and moisturized, you can reduce swelling in these areas.
To keep your skin moisturized, apply a good quality moisturizing cream or lotion regularly. When using products, it is important to make sure that they are specifically designed for pregnant women and contain natural ingredients that are safe to use. Aloe vera and cocoa butter are two natural options that work well to soothe and protect the skin while preventing it from becoming dry. If you're looking for something a bit stronger, you may want to look into a specially formulated product that contains ingredients like shea butter, vitamin E, and essential oils. These will help to keep the skin hydrated while providing nourishment and protection.
Remember, when it comes to managing swelling during pregnancy, staying well-hydrated and keeping your skin moisturized can go a long way in helping you feel more comfortable and reduce the amount of swelling.