Pregnancy guide


During pregnancy, the body produces approximately 50% more blood and body fluids to meet the needs of the developing baby.
Swelling is a normal part of pregnancy that is caused by this additional blood and fluid. Normal swelling, which is also called oedema, is experienced in the hands, face, legs, and feet.
This extra retention of fluid is needed to soften the body, which enables it to expand as the baby develops. Extra fluid also helps prepare the pelvic joints and tissues to open to allow the baby to be born. The extra fluids account for approximately 25% of the weight women gain during pregnancy.

When does swelling occur during pregnancy?

Swelling may be experienced at any time during pregnancy, but it tends to be noticed around de second trimester and can increase while you are in the third trimester.
Slight swelling is expected during pregnancy. However, if you experience sudden swelling in your hands or face, you have to contact to your doctor.

The following factors may also affect swelling:

  • Summertime heat.
  • Standing for long periods of time.
  • Long days of activity.
  • Diet low in potassium.
  • High level of caffeine consumption.
  • High level of sodium intake.
What can I do to treat swelling during pregnancy?

Swelling may be reduced by eating foods that are high in potassium, such as bananas, and avoiding caffeine.

  • void standing for long periods.
  • Minimize outdoor time when it is hot.
  • Rest with your feet elevated.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Rest or swim in a pool.
  • Use cold compresses on swollen areas.
  • Drink water.
  • Minimize sodium ( salt ) intake.

For further information

Guide summary