27 Apr I am 34 weeks pregnant. Recently, I noticed swelling over my feet especially towards the end of the day. Is it normal? Is there anything in my diet that can help reduce the swelling?
Fluid retention is common during pregnancy. This is because your body is holding more water than normal due to the hormonal changes.
The extra water tends to collect in the legs towards the end of the day, especially if you have been standing for a long time.
The gradual swelling is usually mild and not harmful to you or your baby, but it can be uncomfortable if severe. But if you have sudden swelling over your face, hands and feet. You should seek medical attention early as it may be a sign of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and could have serious consequences.
With reference to the diet, the swelling may be reduced if you:
- Eat a balanced diet so that you put on a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy. Your diet should include protein such as lean meat, fish, eggs, or beans
- Eat more citrus fruits, apples, strawberries, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, sweet corn and parsley as these are rich in vitamin C. They are natural diuretics and help you pass water out of your body
- Drink plenty of water. This will expand the blood volume that carries oxygen and nutrients to your baby
- Reduce the salt intake and avoid adding additional salt to the meal. Cut out pre-packaged, highly processed foods, as they are usually high in salt. Salt causes your body to hold on to more fluid.
- Cut down your intake of tea, coffee and cola as the caffeine in these drinks may affect the absorption of vitamin C, a natural diuretic in your diet.