Fluid retention

Why do we retain fluids during pregnancy and how can we prevent it?

Swelling is common during the third trimester given that you carry a larger quantity of liquids in your body. But, why does your body retain so much liquid? One of the reasons is that your uterus keeps growing and places pressure on your blood vessels. These blood vessels are important to get the blood from your limbs to your heart and since blood gets a harder time flowing, your body retains more liquid. For this reason, you might experience swollen ankles and edemas.

Swelling due to liquid retention should not be alarming, but you should pay attention: if it’s accompanied by headaches, high blood pressure, or an alteration in your vision and these could indicate preeclampsia. You should go to your doctor as soon as possible since it can be risky if not attended on time.

To ease fluid retention, follow the tips below:
•Get moving! Make sure to get some physical activity that requires legwork for at least 20 minutes
•Keep your legs high for at least 20 minutes twice a day. You could do this while you watch TV
•Avoid sun and heat
•Don’t use heels that are too high or socks that are too tight
•Sleep on your side
•Eat potassium, since it helps reduce liquid
•Limit sodium intake and excessive amounts of salt in your food

Remember that liquid retention and swelling is completely normal during pregnancy, but could be reduced with the above tips. Just remember if you experience swelling along with other symptoms, this could be a sign of preeclampsia, so consult your doctor right away if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above.

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