Not-So-Swell Swelling

You may notice some swelling, especially in your hands and feet.
Blaine Moats

Swelling occurs even in healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies. Beginning at week 34 or 35, your body will gradually start to swell. You'll notice your rings are tighter and your feet feel crowded in your shoes. (Take your rings off now, or you may not be able to get them off in a couple of weeks.) Swelling usually worsens throughout the day and is at its worst at night. To alleviate swelling, sit with your feet propped up above the level of your heart at the end of the day. By the next morning, your swelling should be down. During the final weeks of pregnancy, avoid wearing tight clothing or crossing your legs while you sit.

If swelling increases very rapidly or if your face is puffy, call your doctor; it may be a sign that your blood pressure is too high or that you are developing preeclampsia.

Swelling is a common side effect of pregnancy as your due date gets closer. Learn how to get relief and when you need to call a doctor.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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