Why legs swell during pregnancy

Changes in a woman’s body during pregnancy affect all organs and systems. As a result, there are some health problems, since it is not as easy to withstand a heavy load as it seems at first glance.

Why legs swell during pregnancy

One of the most common complications is edema during pregnancy. They occur in any pregnant woman, but always for different reasons. Therefore, the approach and treatment must be different in each individual case.

Causes of Edema

During pregnancy increases the need for water. This is due to the fact that the body requires a large volume of blood, the amount of amniotic fluid is also gradually increasing and there is a need to reduce blood viscosity. Pregnancy hormones cause a woman to thirst, and she begins to drink more water. This leads to the fact that swelling of the legs during pregnancy occurs in almost every woman. Such edema is often a normal condition, but requires attention from the doctor.

Why legs swell during pregnancy

Edema appears due to:

  1. “Normal” swelling (due to increased fluid requirements).
  2. Varicose veins (swollen legs during pregnancy). The growing uterus begins to put pressure on large vessels. This leads to a violation of the outflow of venous blood from the lower extremities. The veins in the legs are overfilled, which is accompanied by their expansion and swelling of the feet.
  3. Kidney problems. In such cases, edema during pregnancy can begin at any time. The kidneys work in an enhanced mode, and can not always remove excess fluid from the body.
  4. Gestosis (a disease involving edema, high blood pressure and protein in the urine).

The obstetrician-gynecologist during the examination and interview of the patient finds out the alleged reason, and prescribes an examination to clarify the nature of the edema.

Symptoms of Edema

Usually in the first half of the pregnancy, the woman does not experience swelling. Detection of pastosity of the legs or face before 30 weeks of gestation is a poor prognostic sign, therefore it is necessary to be examined. If you have swelling of the legs during pregnancy, you must inform your doctor.

“Normal” edemas in late periods begin, are localized only in the area of ​​the feet or legs, appear in the late afternoon, disappear after resting in a horizontal position and are not accompanied by deterioration of the general condition (headaches, high blood pressure or protein in the urine). Swelling in the thighs or abdomen is an unfavorable sign. And if your hands swell during pregnancy, you should immediately sound the alarm. Such a healthy woman should not be.

Due to puffiness, the skin ceases to be elastic, with pressure a small depression remains, which disappears gradually. A woman usually feels good. If the swelling in the early stages began and is accompanied by a deterioration of health, then you should go to the hospital for examination.

Often, edema is one of the signs of preeclampsia. This is a serious disease that only happens during pregnancy. Accompanied by an increase in blood pressure and the detection of protein in the urine. What causes swelling in preeclampsia? A woman sees only external swelling, and does not think that they can be inside. With gestosis, all tissues swell, including the placenta, uterus, liver and brain of a woman. Therefore, edema in such cases is very dangerous. They can lead to intrauterine growth retardation and major health problems in the pregnant woman.


At each appointment, the doctor examines the pregnant woman, especially her face and legs, for the presence of pastosity. Weighing is also carried out regularly, with the help of which it is possible to reveal excess weight gain in time. Edema during pregnancy is always accompanied by a sharp increase in weight. If the edema is not pronounced on the legs, it is a sign of hidden, internal, edema.

A urinalysis should be taken before each visit to the gynecologist. This will help the doctor at the reception assess the function of the kidneys and differentiate the “normal” edema from gestosis or kidney problems. The causes of edema during pregnancy are immediately difficult to identify, so the gynecologist requires additional examination (ultrasound of the kidneys, blood tests). Women are advised to consider diuresis (taking into account the amount of fluid consumed and the amount of urine excreted). If the urine is low, and a lot of alcohol is drunk, then this is a reason to start therapy.

Before starting treatment, it is necessary to find out exactly what is the need to apply serious measures to eliminate edema. If it is “normal” edema, then it is not necessary to treat them. Such edema during pregnancy is adjusted by lifestyle and changes in water load. If the swelling is common and is accompanied by a change in general condition, then you should begin active actions.

In such cases, it is best to place the woman in a hospital, as the prognosis is very different. How to treat swelling during pregnancy on the background of preeclampsia should be decided by a qualified doctor. The treatment is based on the correction of diet, weight control, diuretic medication and infusion therapy. Preeclampsia is accompanied by thickening of the blood, so a pregnant woman is put a lot of droppers to improve blood circulation in the uterus, brain and other organs. To cure preeclampsia is impossible, but you can reduce the degree of its manifestations. Due to this, pregnancy is extended to the time when the fetus becomes viable.

Prevention of edema

The doctor makes recommendations that should be followed by all women from the very beginning of pregnancy. Treatment of edema during pregnancy always begins with these instructions. Increased need for fluid leads to thirst. It is necessary to quench it necessarily, but do not drink sweet juices or sparkling water. Thirst only intensify, but little sense from this. Need to drink plain water, you can weak green tea. Better in small portions, and as often as possible. At the same time, you should not limit yourself in water, as it is very necessary for a pregnant woman.

Also, prevention of edema during pregnancy is to reduce the amount of salt in food. Salt attracts water to itself, and therefore after a salty meal you feel like drinking more. Excessive salt and water leads to swelling in the legs. When salt is limited, this mechanism of edema will be eliminated.

Meals should include adequate amounts of protein. He needs a growing body. If little amino acids are supplied with food, the fetus will be taken from their mother’s blood. This will lead to a decrease in the amount of protein in the blood, and against this background, edema during pregnancy occurs very often. Therefore, it is necessary to eat more meat, fish, cottage cheese, liver.

If there is a person in the house who is well versed in herbs, then charges can be applied to eliminate edema. Treatment of edema during pregnancy using folk remedies is not forbidden by doctors, but you should not rely on these methods completely. Usually patients are prescribed to take a leaf of lingonberry or bearberry. More serious diuretic herbs should not be drunk, as they remove a lot of minerals with water. This can lead to impaired electrolyte metabolism.

Attitude to the edema that occurs during pregnancy, all women are different. In some, edema was the first sign of a problem, in others it completely disappeared after childbirth and had no effect on the health of the baby or mother. Predicting the prognosis of edema is difficult, but possible after a detailed examination. Edema during pregnancy – what to do? This question should be asked to the doctor, as self-treatment in such cases can lead to serious consequences.

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply