This week marks the end of the second trimester and for some moms-to-be the moment when things start to feel real. Your growing belly and changing body can have you feeling tired, and your changing hormones can have you feel euphoric and weepy. Take heart in knowing you are two-thirds of the way to the finish line, and there is plenty of time left to prepare for baby's arrival.
Because of the new and shifting hormones, you might be experiencing some swelling and edema all over but specifically in your hands and feet. Edema can be relatively common, and most pregnant women will go through some degree of swelling. If you find it to be extreme or uncomfortable and your shoes no longer fit, you should mention it to your doctor as it could be a sign of preeclampsia. However, it is not uncommon for pregnant women to have to move up a size or even two in footwear during pregnancy, so don't panic. Think of it as a chance to buy new shoes!
The best way to fight excessive edema is by drinking more water. While the solution might seem counterintuitive, increasing your water intake can help flush water out of the cells and back into the bloodstream for elimination. Also, staying hydrated is good for your amniotic fluid and baby too. Avoiding salt and foods high in sodium will also help keep retention to a minimum, but unfortunately, you might still have to resort to compression socks and slippers for additional relief. Drinking fluids can also help keep cramps and dizziness at bay, so it is a win-win! If you experience sudden overnight swelling or swelling in the face or puffy eyes, you should contact your caregiver right away.
- American Pregnancy Association - Week 27