What to do against water retention?
Water retention during pregnancy is not uncommon, your body can sometimes store too much water in its tissues which can cause swelling. In the last third of your pregnancy water retention and swelling is especially likely.
Possible causes of water retention during pregnancy
The high water retention during pregnancy is also known as Edema. Retaining water in your legs is not uncommon and many pregnant women will face this, it is assumed that the hormone progesterone is responsible for the increased retention of water during pregnancy and swelling can happen in the legs, ankles, hands and fingers. It is not a cause for concern for the time being. However, if you suddenly have very prominent water retention, it is important to have this checked over as this may indicate a possible gestosis. Your gynaecologist will check at each examination whether the water retention is still within the limits.
Put your legs up
It is easier said than done, after all you have to organize a lot before the birth of your baby but if water retention occurs during pregnancy, you should put your legs up. Make sure your pelvis is lower than your legs. You can place your legs on a pillow or a blanket, for example. This is especially recommended if you notice that your legs swell more and more, usually the case when you travel a lot. Raising your legs brings relief for you and your body.
Watch your diet
A very good tip to counteract water retention is to take a look at the diet. In the past it was recommended that women who have a lot of water in their bodies should switch to a low-salt diet. Please don’t do this as the benefits have since been refuted – keep enjoying your food with salt. What you can do, however, is to eat significantly more protein. and take in enough fluids. Many women reduce their fluid intake because they are afraid that otherwise more water will remain in their bodies. But that’s wrong. Drink at least two litres of water, diluted juice or unsweetened tea.
Note: Please refrain from laxative drinks or taking tablets. After pregnancy at the latest, the water will disappear from your body again.
Enjoy gentle exercise
Retaining water in your legs or arms does not mean you have to lie down all the time. It is possible that a stay in hospital is necessary in the case of very heavy water retention, however, this is rarely the case. Counter the retention and make sure that you do a lot of exercise. There are some sports that are great to do during pregnancy and can help with Edemas, these include aquarobics, walking and leg exercises, which are especially good to combat water retention in your legs and feet.
Tip: Check with your midwife here. She can help you to find a suitable sport for you and to create a nutritional plan with which you can do something about water retention.