Seventy-five percent of pregnant patients experience swelling or edema. It is usually worse in the lower extremities, and tends to be worse at the end of the day or after prolonged standing. Generalized swelling can be noticed: rings do not seem to fit or your face may seem puffy. We recommend drinking adequate water. We do not recommend salt restriction. For lower extremity swelling, elevation is effective. Support hose can be obtained based on your prepregnancy weight. There is still the challenge of putting on hose while pregnant.
Sometimes swelling is considered abnormal. Unilateral, or one-sided swelling, especially of the lower extremity is a possible sign of deep venous thrombosis. This will usually be associated with calf discomfort. Swelling is also seen in preeclampsia. This is a high blood pressure problem seen most frequently in the third trimester. You are evaluated for this each appointment. Your blood pressure is evaluated and your urine checked for protein. If you are concerned about the possibility of preeclampsia, you should have your blood pressure checked.