Top 3 reasons for water retention during pregnancy
Your baby bump and your legs are heavy and you walk slower than usual. The clothes seem too narrow on the body, although you have bought new ones recently. Everything is uncomfortable, you feel that you have elephant feet and that you burst at all seams. The shopping bags feel very heavy in your hands. The tram stop seems to be so far away and the way home so long! You can hardly wait to lie again on the couch.
The mom’s body gets swollen in the last months of pregnancy. Not only the baby bump is bigger but also the legs, hands and face are swollen. More fluids than before the pregnancy are built and retained in the body, and this is needed to support the growth of the baby and to maintain its health. At the same time the consistence and elasticity of the tissues and muscles change, so that they are being prepared for the birth.
The swollen feet and legs cause a lot of discomfort during pregnancy: Because of them the movements and walking get slower, the body feels heavy, the shoes do not fit anymore and the mom doesn’t really know what to do against the swelling. The water retention in the legs is accentuated by the pressure of the baby bump. Its weight prevents the lower veins to pump the blood back to the heart with normal speed. Thus, more blood and more fluids pool in the legs and start to permeate the neighboring tissues. The blood vessels give up under the growing pressure, also because their elasticity is changed by the pregnancy hormones. These are responsible for changing the tissues and muscles in order to ensure a normal birth.
Although unpleasant and hindering in the daily activities, the swelling of the feet and ankles during pregnancy is normal. It lasts until a few weeks, sometimes months, after the birth. Only if you notice for e.g. a sudden swelling of the extremities, high blood pressure, that a leg is more swollen than the other, or dizziness, you have to inform your doctor, so that s/he can exclude more serious complications (like for e.g. preeclampsia).
Otherwise, despite the swelling, everything should go on well and the birth should happen as smoothly as possible.
Walk for Two worry-free!