Many pregnant women will experience some swelling in their hands and feet during the course of their pregnancy, especially, during the last few weeks when your uterus and your baby is putting more pressure on your pelvis. This additional pressure is causing your body to have to work harder to return the blood from your lower extremities back to your heart. If your body is unable to get the blood back to your heart quickly enough, your blood will begin to pool in your lower extremities. This causes your body to begin collecting additional fluid in your feet and ankles. The swelling is a result of your body retaining more water in the tissue in your extremities. You may notice more swelling toward the end of the day and if you happen to be pregnant during the summer months.
Disclosure: I am not a doctor, nurse, or health care provider. This post is for informational purposes only and never should replace getting medical treatment for you and your unborn baby.
How Much Swelling is Too Much?
If you notice that you are having symptoms of pregnancy edema or swelling, make sure that you mention it to your doctor on your next prenatal visit or phone your doctor. Swelling during pregnancy can cause potential health problems for you and your baby. If your doctor hasn’t explained to you the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia, make sure that you are monitoring your own health for any signs and symptoms. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any swelling or puffiness around your eyes, excessive swelling in your hands, if your feet suddenly swell, or you can excessive swelling in your ankles or feet to contact their office immediately or head to labor and delivery. Preeclampsia is a series complication that affects around 5% of all pregnant women which requires additional monitoring during the remainder of your pregnancy.
Excessive Swelling Can Be A Sign of A Possible Blood Clot
When you are in the late stages of pregnancy, you more at risk for blood clots in your legs due to the amount of pressure that the uterus and your baby is putting on your pelvis. This pressure is making it harder to return the blood to your heart. During pregnancy, your blood chemistry can change making you more susceptible for pregnancy induced blood clots. If you notice that one leg is swollen significantly more than your other leg or if your leg is super tender in one spot, contact your doctor or midwife immediately or head to labor and delivery so that they can make sure that you don’t have a blood clot in your leg.