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How to Avoid Fluid Retention in the Later Stages of Pregnancy

author image Kathy Gleason
Kathy Gleason is a freelance writer living in rural northern New Jersey who has been writing professionally since 2010. She is a graduate of The Institute for Therapeutic Massage in Pompton Lakes, N.J. Before leaving her massage therapy career to start a family, Gleason specialized in Swedish style, pregnancy and sports massage.
How to Avoid Fluid Retention in the Later Stages of Pregnancy
Fluid retention is common during pregnancy. Photo Credit: View Stock/View Stock/Getty Images

Fluid retention is very common during pregnancy, particularly in the later stages. There are a few things you can do to prevent or alleviate this problem if it happens. If swelling occurs suddenly or is accompanied by repeated weight gain of more than 2 lb. in a week, call your doctor as soon as possible, as there is a chance other factors could be the cause besides normal pregnancy swelling and discomfort.

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Preventing Pregnancy Swelling

Step 1

Sit or lie down when you can, preferably with your feet elevated. Avoid standing for long periods of time, advises Tone Health. Standing for a long time can make pregnancy swelling worse, particularly in the legs and feet.

Step 2

Go indoors when the weather is hot. The heat can make late pregnancy swelling worse and make a pregnant woman more uncomfortable.

Step 3

Wear comfortable sneakers or shoes rather than high heels as often as possible. Make sure your shoes aren't too tight because uncomfortable shoes can exacerbate pregnancy fluid retention.

Step 4

Go swimming, if possible, advises the American Pregnancy website. Aside from being a good low-impact exercise for pregnant women, it feels great and can help reduce the swelling that can occur in late pregnancy.

Step 5

Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet. Make sure to consume enough high potassium foods, like bananas. Avoid salty foods, as salt can cause fluid retention in some pregnant women.

Step 6

Drink plenty of water. Staying well-hydrated will make you feel better and can keep your body flushed, reducing fluid retention. Also avoid consuming excessive amounts of caffeine. You doctor can tell you how much caffeine is safe in your particular situation.

Step 7

Apply cold compresses to swollen areas. This can improve swelling and make you more comfortable late in pregnancy. Cold washcloths or bags of frozen vegetables will work if you don't have any special compresses.

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