To Swell or not to Swell During Pregnancy

Water retention is a common side effect of pregnancy caused by extra blood circulating in your body, and as a result you hold onto more fluid.

To be scientific: ‘This is due to an increase in the total amount of body fluid and a lower concentration in protein to keep the fluid in the blood vessels.’ Dr. Robert Silver, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Utah.

The question is, “Can I escape this fluidity trap?” The answer is ‘YES!’

EXERCISE: Start moving. Pregnancy is not an illness or an excuse to sit in front of the TV with chocolates in one hand and a fizzy drink in the other! You have to start taking care of your baby from day one. A healthy you equals a healthy baby.

As you exercise you will improve circulation and blood flow, reducing leg cramps, swelling, constipation and varicose veins. You’ll also then be equipped to avoid excessive weight gain, another cause of water retention. Walking, Pilates and Yoga are all low-impact exercises that promote blood flow and circulation. If you can, spend some time at the gym with a personal trainer, and create a programme tailored for you and your baby.

EAT HEALTHY: Cut the junk and the trips to your fast food shops and aim to buy organic and natural foods. Stock up on rainbow fruits, yellow and red vegetables, lean meats and fish, orange flesh potatoes, carrots and wholegrain carbs. This is the road to a stronger baby and a yummy mummy!

WATER: A common misconception is that drinking water will cause water retention. This is NOT the case. Drink water to keep your body hydrated throughout the day. It will help to flush away all the bad toxins and enable you to expel more water. During pregnancy is not advisable to take diuretics, and it’s unnecessary, water does the same job and it’s free!

MASSAGE: Treat yourself to a massage in the second and third trimester to promote lymphatic drainage. PLUS, you’ll be in need of some extra TLC, for the baby of course!

FEET UP: Put your feet up at the end of the day. You will notice that swelling increases towards the end of the day, especially around your ankles, so you must know when it’s time to rest. Meditate with your feet up; it will give you peace of mind and lightness in your feet!

Pregnancy is a time to nourish your body inside and out. The good news is that where there is will, there is a power and we always have a solution. Don’t be the victim, but be the wonderful cause of your action.

I’m always listening because you are my priority.

Beautiful body, sharp mind, clear soul and healthy babies!

In health and fitness,

Francesca Giacomini