Chioma sat heavily at the edge of the bed staring at her shoe rack then her feet.
“Pregnancy has a way of revealing the unimagined ugliness in one’s body,” she thought as she stared at her swollen feet one more time which she felt look no different from that of an elephant.
She recalled – how her beautiful feet could slip into any of the stilettos in her shoe rack just a few months ago, but today all she can hope for was something that will at least fit to keep her from wearing bathroom slippers to work which already seems like the most available option.
Puffiness or swelling of the body is known as Oedema. It results from excess fluids stored in the body tissues. During pregnancy, increased pressure from the growing child in the womb on the blood vessels makes the body retain more fluid than usual. Oedema can occur in any part of the body, but it is common in the ankle, legs, feet, hands and face. The amount of fluid retained in the body may vary from time to time, usually worse during hot weather or towards the end of the day especially for people who walk a lot.
A significant number of women experience swollen bodies during the last few months of pregnancy. This is usually not fatal and shouldn’t unsettle you, however when the situation becomes particularly uncomfortable, painful or excessive, you should consider consulting your doctor.
Oedema isn’t completely preventable during pregnancy but can be managed and controlled.
Tips for managing puffiness
What you eat:
- Eat healthy diets including fruits and vegetables which are naturally rich in vitamin C and E so you add a healthy amount of weight
- Reduce consumption of salt, sugar and fat; avoid packaged and processed food as most contain these 3 ingredients
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Dehydration stimulates the body to hoard more water
- Wear very comfortable shoes. Shoes with elastic straps that can accommodate the feet without squeezing it.
- Elevate legs on a soft elevated platform whenever possible.
- Don’t cross your legs or ankles when sitting.
- Put a pillow under your feet when sleeping
- Take regular breaks between sitting and standing, take short walks.
- Stretch legs frequently, flex feet, wiggle toes and rotate ankles.
- Avoid tight clothes, especially around the ankles to give room for blood flow.
- Sleep on your sides, preferably your left. This helps the kidney eliminate waste better to reduce swellings
How did you cope with your swollen feets and body during pregnancy? Share your experiences for current preggos.