Sunday, July 25, 2010

FEELING SWELL : Coping With Pregnancy Puffiness



Fluid retention is a fact of life for many pregnant women. For most it will go away once you give birth, but how do you cope with it in the meantime?
 WHAT’S GOING ON?
The pregnancy hormone progesterone relaxes your muscles in preparation for your baby’s delivery. One thing that relaxes, sometimes too much, is the muscle lining your arteries and veins. This can make for excessive leakage of fluids into your tissues. During hot weather and when you have been on your feet all day at work or running after a toddler, the problem gets worse. As baby grows, it puts pressure on the veins that ordinarily deliver the blood from your feet back to your heart. By the time you hit 36 weeks of pregnancy you can end up feeling like one giant water balloon. Gravity usually dictates that your ankles are the first part of you to lose their shape and be replaced by balls of fluid with an ankle lurking deep inside somewhere! But your fingers are also prone to swelling ( you might want to remove your wedding ring before that sets in or risk having to have it cut off) and your face can also become much rounder and puffer.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Try these tips for some relief:
1.Put Your Feet Up. Some of you with toddlers will be grinning with mirth at that one, but do it as much as you can. For feet, higher is better so lie on the couch with your feet resting on a pillow.
2. Stay Cool. Air conditioning can be a pregnant mum’s best friend. Being hot makes the problem worse, but cooling of can help.
3. Physical Activity. Believe it or not, all the contractions of the muscles in your legs pump the veins as well, encouraging the fluid to be shifted back upstream.
4. Watch The Salt. Not from the salt shaker but processed foods. Breakfast cereals, packaged biscuits and pastry are all sources of excess salt that can make fluid retention worse. Check the labels on the boxes of processed foods.
WHEN TO WORRY
Not all swelling is normal. A sudden swelling in one leg only, especially if it’s painful, can be a sign of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Go to a doctor to have it checked out as soon as possible. Pre – eclampsia, which is a combination of fluid retention, high blood pressure and protein in the urine, also need medical attention. If you are getting headaches or blurred vision, of the swelling gets suddenly worse, go to your doctor for a blood pressure and urine check.
Source : FEELING SWELL : Coping With Pregnancy Puffiness, Borneo Post, Saturday, 24 July 2010. Google Images.


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