Causes And Remedy For Swollen Feet After Giving Birth

Swollen feet after giving birth is common, yet it is a condition that can easily be remedied. More commonly referred by doctors as edema, this is due to trapped body fluids. This condition gradually subsides after giving birth. How can you know if you have edema and what can you do if you have it? How does this condition happen and can you do something to ease it?


What Causes Edema or Fluid Retention Post Pregnancy?


Giving birth is truly a big labor of love. Your body is overstrained. It will take months or even years to come back to your healthy self. Swollen feet and hands are just other effects of overburden that your body had undergone. The extent of a woman’s edema varies from minimal to extensive.

You might have a hard time putting on your wedding ring and shoes because they just won’t fit. Your skin appears shiny, puffy, inflamed and stretched. When skin is pressed, the indentation stays on for a few seconds longer than with a normal skin. You might even look fat, but be assured that this is just water retention. What causes this to happen in the first place?

1. Increase in blood supplies during pregnancy.

More blood equals more fluid supply circulating around your body. You’ll make an additional 50% of blood during pregnancy. This is important for baby’s development and nourishment. After giving birth to a baby, a portion of this extra blood volume remains in your body. This is partly a reason for increased incidence of swollen feet and hands.

2. Blood loss during delivery.

During delivery, you lost a lot of blood. That loss leads to blood dilution and reduction of red blood cells which indirectly result in the accumulation of fluids inside the tissues.

3. Hormones.

During pregnancy, your progesterone hormone level is at its peak. This is the same hormone that remains and gradually returns to post-pregnancy levels after delivery. Progesterone causes water and salt retention which then leads to sausage-like fat fingers.

4. Intravenous fluids.

You might be hooked on a few bags of IV fluid during delivery. Due to your groggy state, you might not be able to discharge them all through urine the next day. This will take a few days to be released so be prepared to pee a lot.

When Is It Not Normal And When Shall I See My Doctor?

see doctor

Fluid retention during and post pregnancy is common. It might be expected yet this must subside within a few days. Before discharge, ask your doctor for his or her contact number. This will be helpful to calm your nerves and make you worry less. If that is the case, what are the medical signs that must prompt you to go see your doctor immediately?

• Fluid retention, leg skin discoloration and severe pain on just one leg. This might be a sign of something more serious like a development of blood clot in a vein. Hurry up as this can turn into a medical emergency.

• Fluid retention that is unrelieved even after a week. If you are still sore and puffy after a few days, then some home remedies can be done. But if this stays like these for a week, then this is something that must be consulted to your doctor.

• Chest pain, palpitations and extreme fatigue. Call your doctor on the first onset of chest pain, especially if you have no pre-existing heart condition.

• Blurred vision and extreme headache. Symptoms such as these are not to be taken lightly. This can be just due to tiredness or it can also mean something significant like high blood pressure.

Tips And Remedies For Swollen Feet After Giving Birth

1. Proper posture

When cuddling and nursing the baby, put feet up on an ottoman. You should have already purchased a comfortable nursery glider beforehand. This is the time to use that nursery glider to get the best nursing posture while aiding you in your recovery. Prepping your feet up higher than your waist can help to ease up fluid discharge. Another tip is to avoid wearing tight fitting socks and clothes. Keep cool by wearing cotton or other natural fibers.

2. Rest a lot


During sleep, put a lot of pillows under your feet. Lie on your left side while sleeping. Keep your feet cool as the warmth can make your swelling longer. While at rest, ask your significant other to give your feet a massage. Start by massaging the toes going upward to the thighs. Also remember to not tire yourself and minimize stress during your first week post-partum.

3. Move!

running mom

Alternate resting periods with a slow-paced walk around the house. Being tired is not an excuse to start moving. In fact, less movement will just make you more tired. Stretch those muscles up in between feedings. Do some slow range joint movements, yet do not stand for longer than fifteen minutes. Move around the house and tend the garden; just take note not to over exert and avoid lifting up heavy items.

4. Stay away from Caffeine and Tobacco


Quit smoking, if you haven’t yet. A cup of coffee might also smell good but if you are still swollen, this is a big no! Stay away from that carbonated soda and limit your teas to organic and decaffeinated variants. 

5. Healthy diet

fruit cocktail

During this time and moving onwards through your breastfeeding stage, stay away from anything too salty and too preserved. Back off from that bag of chips, drive-thru fast food meal, ice cream, and instant noodles. It may sound counterproductive but drink up a lot of water. This will help you to cleanse out toxins and release them out. Eat a lot of greens, fruits and bulk up on fiber. Up your protein consumption by eating chicken breasts, boiled eggs, meat, and beans. Natural diuretics can help you to release all that extra fluids. Fruits and veggies such as watercress, broccoli, cabbage, parsley, celery, citrus fruits and apple are good diuretics.


mom and baby

Congratulations on giving birth! Not every woman can be a mother. Childbirth is one life-altering experience. It affects a woman’s body and it takes a lot of effort and time to recover well.

Be equipped with the right knowledge and arm yourself with the right information. Bond with your family members and ask advice from other like-minded mothers. During this time, you need all support. Take your time to rest and recover, there is still a long motherhood journey for you ahead!

Sarah Morgan

Chief editor of and striving mom-extraordinaire.Let me share and inspire you with my daily struggles to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

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