Swelling is a common occurrence during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester.
“Edema can be caused by the retention of sodium and water and changes in circulation due to a growing baby,” says Dana Bruck, L.Ac, MSTCM, co-Founder of OVA MOON. While dry brushing is a great way to combat the swelling, as is elevating the legs, hydrating and staying out of the sun, pregnant women should also consider lymphatic drainage massages.
“A lymphatic massage increases circulation and supports drainage of excess lymph fluid,” says Bruck. “Lymphatic drainage massages during pregnancy and postpartum can help with water retention and reduce edema in the limbs.” Plus, all women deserve massages during and after pregnancy, so take any excuse to sign yourself up!
Besides a lymphatic drainage massage, there are a few other things that can be done to help mitigate swelling.
Drink nettle leaf and dandelion leaves and root tea.
“Both of these teas are safe during pregnancy and are diuretics which means they help you excrete water, reducing water retention,” says Bruck. “Be sure not to drink them daily as they increase urination which can increase the elimination of important minerals.”
Reduce salt intake.
“When we have too much sodium in our diet our body will hold in water.”
Elevate your feet.
“Resting with your legs up the wall for 15-30 minutes a day can help stimulate the lymphatic system and support your body to reduce fluid retention. This can be a very relaxing and meditative pose and gravity will do all the work!”