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Why am I swollen after giving birth?

Why am I so swollen after giving birth?
Submitted by Parents.com Team

Right after delivery, it's common to experience swelling (also known as edema). The pushing you do during labor also pushes to your face and extremities any extra fluids that you've been carrying, and you may find yourself extra puffy in your face, arms, and legs. Women who have c-sections are also likely to find themselves swollen, thanks to the IV fluids they received.

Fortunately, within days of your baby's birth, your kidneys will kick into overdrive, and you'll start peeing and sweating out this water. If your legs, ankles, or feet resemble those of the Pillsbury Doughboy, use a pillow to elevate them above your heart while lying down. However, if the swelling is worse on one side or if pain is involved, you may have a significant problem like deep vein thrombosis, a condition where there's a blood clot, usually in the leg. Contact your doctor immediately if you suspect you may suffer from this rare but serious condition. --Allison Winn Scotch

Copyright 2009

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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