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Water Retention in Pregnancy

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Water Retention in Pregnancy

Posted on 15 May 2012 by Annerley

What can I do about my horrible water retention in pregnancy? I am only at 5 months but my hands are so swollenthat I had to get my wedding ring cut off plus my feet no longer fit any of my shoes. It’s really uncomfortable so would love to hear of anything that could release some of this extra fluid!!

Hulda responds:

Oedema or fluid retention in pregnancy is very common and about 50% of women suffer from this.  It can be related to pregnancy induced hypertension, so ensure you tell your health care provider that you are feeling like you are retaining fluid.  They do not know your body as well as you do and may not be aware that this is different for you.

The very best thing you can do to release some of this fluid is (very strangely) drink more water!  This helps your kidneys function better and draws the fluid back into your circulatory and urinary systems and out of the tissues in your skin areas.  You can also try wearing supportive stockings (very sexy) also quite hot, so the coming weather may not be very conducive to wearing these – however it will reduce the amount of fluid that can build up in your legs.  Make sure when you are at home to try and rest with your feet up, maybe sleep with them on a pillow at night and make sure you are not crossing them when you sit.  In terms of your hands, try doing some flamenco dancing moves, these kinds of movements are good to return the fluid to your circulation. Sleeping with your arms on pillows is also a good idea.  You could have some lymphatic drainage massage (from an appropriately qualified and practiced therapist) who has an interest in pregnancy, there are a few around.

Foods which have been associated with reducing fluid retention are: Anise, Celery, Onion, Parsley, Coffee or Tea (included in moderation due to caffeine content), Eggplant, Garlic & Peppermint.  Also minimize sodium (salt) intake and avoid adding additional salt to meals.


  • Avoid standing for long periods
  • Minimize outdoor time when it is hot
  • Rest with your feet elevated
  • Wear comfortable shoes, avoiding high heels if possible
  • Avoid clothes that are tight around your wrists or ankles
  • Rest or swim in a pool
  • Use cold compresses on swollen areas

Other than that drink, drink, drink (water, that is!)

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