While pregnant, it’s not unlikely for a woman to experience fluid retention, a condition referred to as edema in the medical world. This is commonly observed in the lower extremities, in particular the ankles and feet, due to the fact that the enlarging uterus is impeding normal blood circulation to the lower part of the body.
Although normal during pregnancy, edema may also be an indicator of a serious problem such as pre-eclampsia. At the first sign of bloating, it is very important for a pregnant woman to inform her doctor about it. She may sigh a heave of relief, however, after being given a clean bill of health, and may try some of the most effective home remedies for edema.
Consume Sufficient Amounts Water
A pregnant woman experiencing edema may avoid drinking lots of water in order to prevent further bloating. However, this is a wrong move! That’s because drinking more water is actually one of the best ways to remove excess amounts of water in the body. It may sound crazy but it does work. Besides, drinking sufficient amounts of water also helps ward off a problem commonly encountered by pregnant women: constipation.
Steer Clear of Salty Foods
It’s no secret that excessive salt intake is bad because it causes fluid retention. While pregnant, a woman should make sure that she cuts back on the consumption of foods and beverages that contain lots of salt in order to prevent complications that may actually endanger her life and that of her baby’s. It is a good idea for her to stay away from processed food items as they tend to pack a lot of salt.
Reduce Intake of Carbohydrates
Other than salt, carbohydrates are also notorious for causing the body to retain lots of water. It’s for this reason why women who are on the family should reduce the amount of carbohydrates they take daily most especially if there’s edema. The avoidance of refined or processed grains as well as sugary foods and beverages can help keep water retention away.
Soak Feet in Warm Salt Water
A very relaxing way to get rid of swelling especially in the feet and ankles is by soaking them in a bucket filled with warm salt water. A very simple recipe for making the perfect salt water is this: dissolve 1/2 cup of salt in every gallon of warm water. It is a good idea to allow the feet to soak in warm salt water for about 15 minutes. Alternately, 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds may be boiled in a cup of water to the basin or bucket with warm water in it.
Let Apple Cider Vinegar Work Its Magic
Another effective way to get rid of feet and ankle edema is by having these areas of the body soaked in a solution consisting of equal amounts of water and apple cider vinegar. It should be done for about 10 to 15 minutes for best results. A lot of pregnant women experiencing fluid retention also swear by the effectiveness of massaging a little apple cider vinegar on the affected areas.
Massage with Mustard or Coconut Oil
It is said that massaging swollen feet and ankles with mustard or coconut oil is an excellent way to bust bloating. Either of these healthy oils can help drive away excess fluids most especially if they are massaged on the affected areas using circular strokes as well as long strokes that are against gravity.
Place Cabbage Leaves on Swollen Areas
A pregnant woman may simply place cabbage leaves on her feet and ankles in order to get rid of edema in the said areas. She has to make sure, however, that the leaves have been placed in the freezer several hours beforehand. Getting those cabbage leaves frozen first helps ensure that they will pull water out of the body more effectively.