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When you are pregnant, sitting long hours at your desk can make your ankles swell. This happens due to water retention and is a harmless condition. Pregnancy induced edema is common, especially, during the second trimester and happens due to water retention in tissues outside the blood vessels, noticed particularly in your hands and feet. Long hours of standing or sitting usually leads to this condition. However, there are times when this can also indicate low haemoglobin or lack of protein in your diet. Apart from that, the pressure of the pregnant uterus on the veins interrupts blood circulation, interfering with the blood returning from the lower limbs to the heart, causing the swelling, Dr Shantala Vadeyar, obstetrician, foetal and maternal medicine specialist, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai. Here is how to deal with edema during pregnancy.
If you are required to sit for too long, to avoid edema, try using a foot stool. Keep your feet elevated using it. This will help to an extent in reducing the swelling and discomfort caused due to water retention. It always helps to keep your feet up for a while to avoid accumulation of water. Since you don t have the luxury to put your feet up, keep them on a footstool. Apart from that, taking short strolls during your breaks, drinking adequate water and light exercises like prenatal yoga, walking, etc can also help. Also, drinking lots of water can help ease the swelling as fluids help flush out toxins and other fluids from the body.
Remember, edema could also be a sign pf pre-eclampsia. so if you have swollen hands and feet along with hypertension and loss of protein through urine get it checked at the earliest.
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