Are you finding it painful to move around normally because certain areas of your body are swelling during pregnancy? Your hands and feet are the most common parts to experience water swelling, or edema, especially in the third trimester.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) takes edema very seriously and offers various solutions to help out with this uncomfortable swelling during pregnancy.
What causes swelling during pregnancy?
According to TCM, edema is caused by poor Qi flow in the body and the kidney being too weak to metabolise the water. This causes dampness in the body, or an excessive build up of Yin energy, which is bad for the body.
As your baby presses against the veins in your body that carry blood to your limbs, it causes the blood flow to slow down. Water then begins to build up in your extremities like hands, ankles and feet.
What can I do to reduce the swelling during pregnancy?
To reduce the swelling, you should try to avoid being on your feet for long periods of time. Make time for a rest with your feet up periodically during the day. Lying down, especially on your left side, will improve blood circulation. If you work in an office, try and prop your feet up on something under your desk.
You should also drink plenty of water and avoid high sodium in your diet, as sodium increases water retention. TCM advises that you also avoid chilled food, raw food and cold beverages during pregnancy.