Fluid Retention During Pregnancy:
On this scorching hot long week end approaching, our pregnant mums will be feeling the heat more than the rest of us. This is because the body temperature of a pregnant woman increases by an average of 0.4 degrees higher than normal. It is common to hear of women complaining of swelling of their hands and feet that commonly improves with rest, however the extreme heat makes these precious moments sometimes unbearable. Here are some tips to help you along this summer:
1. Limit standing or sitting for long periods of time. When resting women should lie with their legs elevated (avoiding crossing legs and feet).
2. Exercise the ankles. Rotating both 5 times in each direction whenever they sit to help peripheral circulation. Maintain moderate exercise such as swimming, walking or yoga.
3. Wear comfortable shoes and removing any tight fitting rings.
4. Keep hydrated and drink at least 2L of liquid (preferably water) per day.
5. The following foods have a cooling effect and may help reduce fluid retention: corn, celery, lettuce, watercress, grapes, mandarin, oranges, mangoes, watermelons, aduki beans, sardines, lentils, peas and jasmine tea.
6. Reduce your salt intake as this retains fluids.
7. Combining all the above points with acupuncture and moxibustion is a powerful strategy to overcome oedema as they open and move the water metabolism in the body to reduce water retention.
Note: if oedema is persistent and does not disappear after resting or first thing in the morning and is accompanied by a rapid unexplained weight gain or swelling in the face please seek medical advice.