So many changes occur in women’s bodies throughout their entire pregnancies. With the growth of a baby (or babies!), women’s bodies grow and change almost on a daily basis. While women are expecting their abdomens to bulge out in their second and third trimester, they are often surprised by the amount of swelling that occurs during pregnancy. Swelling is a natural part of pregnancy, and as long as it is not excessive, it is simply yet another change to live with until the baby is born.
Excess fluid collects in the tissues of all pregnant women. Women’s bodies produce approximately 50% more blood and body fluids during pregnancy in order to meet the needs of their developing baby. The retention of this extra fluid is also necessary to soften women’s bodies so that they are able to expand and grow to compensate for their growing baby. This extra fluid also helps prepare the pelvic joints and tissues to open for delivery. And one extra fun tidbit about this excess fluid is that it accounts for approximately 25% of weight gain during pregnancy. Combine that 25% with the weight of your newborn, and you lose a good deal of weight just giving birth!
While excess fluid is necessary for both the growing baby and mother during pregnancy, some women experience dangerous amounts of swelling or a rapid increase in fluid retention. These are both signs of preeclampsia, a dangerous condition which requires medical attention and intervention for both the mother and baby’s safety.
At Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. we understand that there are a lot of changes occurring to your body throughout your pregnancy. Swelling is a natural occurrence and can usually be remedied by getting off your feet, putting your feet up, and drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day. However, if you notice changes in your swelling, please contact us right away so that we can evaluate your condition. Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. is here for you every step of the way though your pregnancy.