Minor swelling in pregnancy is normal however, sudden swelling in your hands, feet or face could be a sign of preeclampsia - a serious disorder characterised by high blood pressure, protein in the urine and severe fluid retention. It is therefore important to contact your health care provider about any sudden swelling.
The primary cause of minor swelling (also known as oedema) during pregnancy is due to the increased blood and body fluids produced, to support the needs of your growing baby.
It’s not necessarily possible to prevent minor swelling but you can prevent it from becoming too severe.
Reduce your intake of salt, sugar, caffeine and fat, and avoid eating pre-packaged, highly processed foods that contain both salt and other additives, as these can make fluid retention worse. Drink plenty of water to help your kidneys filter the excess fluid and opt for foods that are naturally rich in vitamins C and E, such as citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables.
Onions and garlic may also help to improve your circulation.
Avoid standing for long periods; wear comfortable (flat) shoes and loose clothing, and rest with your feet elevated. You may also benefit from wearing compression stockings.
In particularly hot weather apply an ice pack to the swollen areas and keep the fluids up. Swimming is also a great way to help reduce inflammation and get your circulation moving.
Gestational diabetes mellitus – also known as GDM, is diabetes which can occur during pregnancy. Many women who’ve been diagnosed with GDM won’t have diabetes after their baby is born, though some continue to have high levels of blood glucose and need treatment. Most women who are diagnosed with GDM have a normal pregnancy, labour and baby. It’s important that GDM is monitored and controlled, because risk factors increase when blood sugar levels remain high.
Many of us enjoy a cup of coffee or two a day and would find it difficult to give up. The good news is that even breastfeeding mothers can continue to drink coffee, or tea in moderation.
With a newborn comes many new skills to learn – one of them being how to safely wrap a baby. Wrapping (also known as swaddling) is a great strategy for parents to help their baby settle. Yet, new parents may understandably feel worried about their baby’s safety and getting it right. Read on for step-by-step guidelines on how to safely wrap a baby, plus some additional tips for safe wrapping.
One small person in a family is a very different arrangement than two, or more children. When a new baby comes into the mix, dynamics change and everyone needs to shuffle around until new positions are found.
Many parents have heard of bottle propping, also known as prop feeding. And most of us have seen babies sucking quietly away on their own.
Bottle propping is when, instead of the baby being held to drink their bottle, they are on their own. The bottle is supported by a pillow or blanket, even a soft toy so that it’s angled with the milk filling the neck of the bottle and the teat. The baby lies in their cot/pram/on the floor sucking away on their own.