Ways To Avoid Water Retention During Pregnancy

The changes that accompany pregnancy are sometimes difficult to accept for most women. Add to it the abundant discomforts that you have to go through during the entire nine months and you are more or less at your wit’s end. Most women face symptoms that they have never experienced before and are at a loss as to how to handle them.

A common problem faced my many women during pregnancy is water retention or edema. A woman goes through a number of hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy. The levels of estrogen in the body rise during pregnancy which is the cause of water retention. Due to the resultant bloating of the body, the face, ankles and fingers puff up leading to a lot of discomfort and sometimes even pain.

Water retention during pregnancy may not be entirely avoidable due to the high estrogen levels, but they can be controlled to a great extent through lifestyle changes and diet control and a lot of discomfort can be avoided, offering great relief to the pregnant woman. If you are one of those women who are troubled by water retention, here are certain things you must do to leave you with less worries to take care of.

1. Consume Less Sodium To Prevent Water Retention

Intake of salt creates swelling in the body as salt is a humectant of sorts. Therefore during pregnancy, consume less salt to prevent or reduce the occurrence of water retention. Along with salt, avoid all foods that are high in sodium like pickles and other salted snacks and processed foods that can aggravate the symptoms of water retention.

Certain salad dressings, various kinds of soups and cereals which you consider as safe for consumption contain high amounts of sodium that could be the actual trigger for your water retention. Always make it a point to check the ingredients before buying them.

2. Move Around To Prevent Water Retention

Sitting in one place for hours together is another reason that can cause water retention in the body. Especially when you are pregnant, sitting for long hours can lead to swelling in the legs and feet which should be avoided. Ensure that you move around frequently and take frequent breaks if you are in the office.

Keep your legs raised to prevent the pooling of fluids in the legs. Hanging your legs must be particularly avoided as this is the worst position which would encourage fluid retention. Keeping the legs raised will offer considerable relief from water retention and help the pregnant woman control the symptoms. Using a foot rest too helps ease water retention to a great extent.

3. Stay Away From Caffeinated Beverages To Prevent Water Retention

Caffeinated drinks increase water retention and hence must be avoided during pregnancy. Caffeine is also detrimental to the health of a pregnant woman and not advised during the pregnant months. If you are in the habit of taking coffee frequently, this could be the reason for your severe water retention. Replace this habit with fresh juices or water which can help you to urinate frequently, preventing water retention in your body.

4. Increase Water Intake To Prevent Water Retention

Though at first sight, this would seem illogical as you will be adding more water to your already water retained body, this is not the truth. Drinking plenty of water will encourage the body to flush out the water through urine, allowing the body to stay away from retaining water. Drink 3-4 glasses of water at least for preventing pregnancy related water retention. Drinking water will also allow you to flush out the toxins from the body and also prevent urinary tract infections from surfacing.

5. Add Ample Potassium To Your Diet To Prevent Water Retention

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Potassium is a natural electrolyte and help in regaining body’s fluid balance. Consume potassium rich foods like bananas, oranges and potatoes while you are pregnant. This will keep the water retention under control and prevent discomfort and pain.

6. Change Sleep Positions To Prevent Water Retention

While sleeping you can keep a pillow under your feet to keep them elevated and prevent pooling of water in your legs. Elevating your legs at least 12” is known to reduce the instances of water retention by facilitating proper circulation.  It also helps to keep your legs elevated whenever you can in order to avoid water retention from surfacing.

7. Avoid Alcohol To Prevent Water Retention

It is important to avoid alcohol during the pregnant months whether you have water retention or not. Alcohol will dehydrate you and lead to loss of important minerals from the body thereby, making the body retain water to prevent more damage. Avoid intake of alcohol at any cost when you are pregnant to prevent many disorders.

8. Consume Foods That Reduce Water Retention

Foods that encourage urination are good for treating water retention. Include foods such as garlic, onion, peppermint, eggplants, celery, parsley and herbal teas which will help in removing fluids from your body and prevent water retention.

9. Importance Of Exercise In Preventing Water Retention

Exercise will naturally improve the circulation in the body thereby preventing problems related to water retention. There are many other benefits as well if you exercise during the pregnant months. Half an hour of walking, swimming, aerobics or bicycling can do wonders to control water retention in your body. Prenatal yoga too is a wonderful exercise routine that you can establish during your pregnant days. Any kind of light exercise is in fact beneficial for removing water retention and hence must be regularly done during the entire months of pregnancy.

10. Diet To Prevent Water Retention

Diet plays an important role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. When you are troubled by water retention, checking what you eat becomes all the more important.  An ideal diet that can reduce water retention must contain one cup of whole grains, 2 cups of fruits, 3 cups containing a variety of vegetables, 2 glasses of milk and around 6 ounces of food that is rich in protein.