You likely already know you will or have already personally experienced swelling of your feet, ankles, legs, hands and face during your 3rd trimester of pregnancy, which is not uncommon. However, if you thought that the swelling disappears immediately after you deliver, you’d be mistaken. While your baby is no longer inside of you, much of the extra blood, fluids and hormones that built up in you over that last 9-10 months as well as IV fluids if you were given any during labor, is still very much present in you, hence the lingering swelling. Not to worry though, the swelling disappears within a few weeks you’ll be able to wear your favorite rings and shoes without puffy interference before you know it. However, to expedite the process, here are a few tips to reduce your postpartum swelling.
1. Elevate Your Legs
Sit down with your legs raised, uncrossed in 20 minute increments to improve circulation and avoid standing for long periods of time. You can also use a pillow wedge for a more comfortable position while you’re sitting on a chair or lying in the bed.
2. Maternity Compression Socks
Wear maternity compression socks and put them on first thing in the morning. They can do wonders for women who experience painful swelling in their lower legs and ankles both during and after pregnancy. Try to purchase these before you give birth though so you’ll have them available when you return home.
3. Drink Water
Get a motivational water bottle and drink a lot of water so your body knows to flush out the extra fluids. Or with a fruit infuser water bottle, you can add natural diuretics such as citrus fruits, cucumbers, apples and lemons to your water to help reduce your swelling.
Add Vitamin C (Tomatoes, Strawberries and Broccoli) and Vitamin E (Sunflower Seeds, Almonds and Wheat Germ) to your diet to help flush out the additional fluids in your body. Drinking a glass of orange juice in the morning can also do the trick for your Vitamin C needs.
5. Healthy Diet
Eat healthy foods and refrain from eating junk food or other foods high in sodium. Foods high in protein, complex carbs, fruits and vegetables and potassium rich foods (such as bananas and sweet potatoes) help with reducing your swelling.
Also, if you’re breastfeeding and you want to start or re-start a Keto lifestyle, here’s a healthy guide with great recipes and tips for you to get all the nutrition you need for you and your baby.
If you’re not in pain, get a massage from a professional or your partner using Jajoba Massaging Oil or Coconut Oil (which is also great for your hair and skin). Have your Massage Therapist or Partner focus on your legs and feet to get that fluid circulating and eventually out of you.
Acupuncture can also assist with your swelling by re-balancing your internal energy thereby improving circulation and flushing the extra fluid out as well. Check out your local acupuncturists to schedule an appointment.
8. Keep Cool
Avoid raising your body temperature and getting hot! Staying cool helps with reducing your postpartum swelling as heat can significantly increase your swelling. A personal fan will also do the trick if you’re the only one that is running hot in the house.