Ways to Reduce Swelling After You Deliver
Puffiness and swelling are a perfectly normal part of the post-delivery experience. Let’s dive in and get informed.
Where does swelling occur?
After you deliver, many women notice puffiness on some part of their body which is called postpartum swelling. Typically, legs, arms, feet, and hands swell during pregnancy and it’s commonly worse at night and in later stages of the pregnancy as well as right after you deliver.
Swollen legs and feet are common during and after pregnancy.
During pregnancy, it is partly caused by the weight of the baby pressing on veins that return blood from your legs to your upper body so your heart. Also, as hormones go crazy during pregnancy, they can cause the body to produce and retain more blood.
After pregnancy, many women still notice swelling which can be caused by pushing during labor, when fluids can move to your hands, feet, and face while you are pressing. Also if you receive IV fluids during labor the extra fluids might make you puffy and take a while to disappear. In addition, you cannot move around as much right after you deliver which makes it harder for your body to get rid of fluids cause your body still has water that is retained to support the baby.
Is it normal?
Having puffiness in your face, feet, legs, and arms is totally normal after pregnancy. No need to worry. Be patient, your body has just gone through a lot of stress and change in the last months. It does usually disappear within two or three weeks after delivery through sweating and urinating, yet there are ways to speed up the process.
Drink lots of water
Dehydration usually makes the body save water which can lead to swelling. Even though it sounds weird, drink 2-3 liters of water a day to reduce swelling in the legs, feet, and hands. You can also drink herbal tea as herbs have many great advantages to your health.
Many women experience swelling in their feet. To get the circulation moving, elevating the feet helps and makes fluids flow. Don’t cross your feet as this can cut off blood flow and make the swelling worse. Try to keep your legs elevated or apart when you sit.
The more salt you eat the more water your kidneys save which can lead to swelling in your arms, legs, feet, and hands. High sodium foods are not ideal and can make the swelling worse.
Light exercise like walking will help the body get rid of fluids by activating the sympathetic nervous system.
Compression stockings increase blood flow and will assist in moving fluids from your legs to your kidneys.
Caffeine is making your body lose water which might lead to dehydration. Being hydrated tells your body to save water which then leads to swelling.
Be aware of heat
It’s also important to stay cool. Heat can worsen swelling so keeping your body at a steady temperature and staying hydrated will help solve this issue.
This form-fitting shapewear ensures support and shapes your body. It reduces swelling by compressing your tissue which helps your body retain fluids. As it is tightly fitting it also helps your circulation and can reduce blood clots. Another benefit of wearing girdles is the fast transition back into normal activities by giving your body enough support.
Foam rollers are another great way to improve circulation. They are usually used for muscle tension and pain but help move blood and water through the body at a quicker pace.
Try a massage to get your body’s circulation going. There are many spas and massage therapists that offer mother massages.
You are what you eat. Chances are you have heard this quote before and it shows to hold truth. That’s why you should eat potassium-rich foods to help your body with postpartum swelling.
It’s a mineral that works together with sodium, helps your nerves to function properly, regulates the fluids, and also keeps your heartbeat regular. It can lower the sodium levels in your body if you eat enough of it.
There are many choices when you want to eat more of the mineral, such as bananas, apricots, yogurt, lentils, prunes, raisins, avocado, mushrooms, kale, yams, oranges. Cooked spinach and broccoli also have a high potassium content as well as cucumbers, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and peas.
You should also add vitamin-rich foods. For example, Vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus fruits which include oranges and lemons, strawberries and tomatoes, etc. Vitamin E is also very important. Foods that include this vitamin are almonds and sunflower seeds, wheat germ oil, peanuts, spinach, etc.
In addition, add foods that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates. Choose whole wheat instead of regular wheat flour. And don’t forget to drink water.
In some cases, swelling could mean different things and should be looked at by a doctor. Get checked if you notice the swelling starts to increase instead of decrease, if you feel pain or discomfort, or if you press your swollen skin the mark stays there for more than a few minutes. Please consult a doctor if any of these occur if one foot or arm is more swollen than the other, or if the swelling is accompanied by other symptoms like headaches, blurred vision or you have difficulty breathing.
Even though you are busy looking after your newborn, your health is just as important. Be patient with your body and take the rest that you need. If your swelling becomes to much to handle, a postpartum girdle will help manage your symptoms and discomfort, providing you with the support you need.