Pregnancy is one big state of swelling. Breasts, feet, hands, face and tummy are all swelling and growing at alarming rates. While most swelling is associated with increased fluid retention and dietary choices, some changes in swelling can be a marker for health issues associated with pregnancy.

Typical Swelling

Typical pregnancy swelling begins in the first trimester. The breasts will grow larger and an increase in fluid up to 25% more in volume causes some swelling of the hands, feet and face. The swelling is mild at first, but diets high in sodium and caffeine can cause problems as early as the first trimester.

Atypical Swelling

If a pregnant women notices sudden swelling, especially in the hands and face, this could be a sign of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy induced condition leading to high blood pressure and risks to baby. Most often, mothers experience preeclampsia symptoms toward the latter end of pregnancy. The only cure for preeclampsia is birth. If you experience sudden swelling, it's recommended to let your doctor know right away. Your doctor will examined you, take your blood pressure and find out whethere there is a problem or not. Doctors may choose to watch and wait if the symptoms are not life threatening. The longer baby stays in the womb, the better.

How to Avoid Swelling

Avoiding the worst bouts of swelling will make the woman feel better as the end of pregnancy grows near. Standing for long periods of time can lead to severe swelling of the feet and ankles. Sitting intermittently throughout the day for 15 to 20 minutes can help ease lower body swelling. Increasing water intake and wearing supportive stockings can also help ease swelling. Essentially, swelling in the lower body is worse during pregnancy due to gravity, so women often focus on relieving lower body swelling as opposed to upper body swelling.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Swelling of the hands during pregnancy can lead to symptoms similar to carpal tunnel syndrome. Wearing tight fitting gloves can push fluid out of the hands and relieve some of the pain. Some mom resort to wearing supportive braces that are restrictive to attain the same effect.