Water Retention in Pregnancies


hen you get pregnant, a few parts of your body will swell. Your belly (obviously!), your breasts (YEAH!) and your feet (oh no!) are some parts. Swollen feet and ankles are probably one of the most common side-effects in pregnancy. It is simply due to water retention and you will find them getting more and more puffy as your pregnancy progresses. In fact, I find my feet and ankles especially puffy in the evenings and after long periods of standing or sitting.

Being a vain pot, the last thing I wanted was to have my ankles and feet look like tree trunks. So, when I knew that I was pregnant, I immediately bought a pillow just to elevate my ankles and feet during sleep. Apparently, elevating them as much as you can would help to keep the swell away. Another thing you should do is to lie on the left side of your body as it would take the pressure off your blood vessels. I read this from books.

While resting is important, you also need to get moving! Using those legs can help to get those pooled fluids moving and hence, “deflate” your swollen feet. Swimming is one great exercise to do during pregnancy asthe outside water pressure pushes tissue fluid back into your veins and kidneys (and right out the door through your urine). If you are not into swimming, try take a walk or better still, abrisk walk. Get your spouse to do it with you. Afterall, who contributed to your pregnancy? J
Another thing I did when I was pregnant was drink a lot of water. It sounds silly to think that it reduces water retention but it really does! I read it from pregnancy books that the more fluids you take in, the more wastes you will remove. I was skeptical at first but due to the nature of my job, I need to drink a lot of water everyday. Thus, I continued to do so when I was pregnant and together with elevating my feet and lots of walking around, my feet were only very slightly swollen. Furthermore, they swelled only in the evenings when only my husband would be the one to see them. So, I was the admiration of my colleagues and friends for they saw only the swell in the appropriate parts of my body during pregnancy.

Remember, while mild water retention during pregnancy is normal, sudden swelling in your hands or face could be a sign of preeclampsiaor high blood pressure, so make sure that you mention it to your gynae as soon as possible, especially if it is accompanied by headaches and a sudden gain in weight unrelated to what you’ve been eating.



  1. Also note that excessive intake of salt is bad. All food ingredients especially meats and preserved items (like scallops, dried prawns, ikan bilis) contain salt and many people are used to highly seasoned foods. A adult needs very little salt as part of their daily requirement so cutting back – in fact, omitting added salt (soya sauce, salted foods, etc) completely – from one’s diet will help prevent or lessen water retention as well as hypertension. One added benefit is that your tastebuds will thank you. 🙂