As your pregnancy progresses, you might notice that your arms and legs begin to swell. This is called edema, and it’s caused by the extra fluid in your body. The swelling can make it hard to wear your wedding ring or shoes that fit before you were pregnant. Here are some things you can do to ease the swelling:
Causes of Swelling
Swelling is caused by an accumulation of fluid in the affected area of the body. In most cases, swelling in the hands and feet is the result of an injury or another type of physical trauma, be it directly to the affected body parts or to the joints. Conditions like arthritis, heart disease, blood disorders and infections can also cause swelling. Sometimes, excessive use of certain muscles or joints (for example, through repetitive tasks or particular types of exercise) can lead to fluid buildup in the fingers and toes. Additionally, edema can be brought on by hormonal changes in women who are not pregnant – such as during menstruation – when water retention is more common.
For the pregnant woman, the accumulation of fluid in the extremities is caused by several factors. The most notable is the growth of the baby who requires more fluid to develop properly. Additionally, the mother’s body needs more fluids than normal to accommodate the expansion of joints and softening of tissues in preparation for childbirth. Finally, blood chemistry changes during pregnancy also contribute to increased fluid retention.
As your uterus expands, it puts pressure on the surrounding organs, constricting the veins of your pelvis and your vena cava. This reduced blood flow can cause blood to pool in your feet.
Edema during pregnancy can be exacerbated by certain conditions. If you were overweight before getting pregnant, you were already likely experiencing poor circulation due to a slowing down of the lymphatic system – and this will only worsen as your pregnancy advances.
Your diet could be the reason for your swelling. Too much salt or caffeine can lead to water retention and cause swelling. Also, not getting enough nutrients or not drinking enough water can have the same effect. Your body holds onto extra fluids when it doesn’t have enough nutrients or water, and this causes swelling.
Why Your Hands and Feet Swell
Pregnancy edema is most common in the hands and feet because they are the farthest from the heart. This is why fluids tend to pool in these extremities – because gravity pulls the fluids down due to gravity.
Have you ever woken up to find your hands or feet are swollen? If so, it may be because of the position you slept in. Depending on how you slept, it could have cut off circulation and caused the swelling.
Pregnancy edema can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, but there are ways to reduce its occurrence and severity. Wearing compression gloves and socks is one of the most effective methods, as they can be worn at any time, day or night. It’s important to choose a non-invasive treatment option with no side effects when pregnant, and compression garments are a great solution.
Don’t let pregnancy swelling cause you discomfort – there are ways to manage it! Swelling of the hands and feet is a common condition during pregnancy, but there are various ways to treat it, so you don’t have to give up your wedding ring or buy a larger shoe size. Compression gloves and stockings are an effective way to reduce swelling.