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11 Ways To Naturally Reduce Swelling During Pregnancy

11 Ways To Naturally Reduce Pregnancy SwellingSwelling and bloating is a very common side effect during pregnancy (it can also be a sign of a problem like pre-eclampsia, so always check with your doctor or midwife first!). Swelling or edema in pregnancy is normally caused by the larger amount of blood in the body, which can pool if circulation is poor, especially in the lower extremities.

Having a fit and healthy pregnancy with a nutritious diet free of processed, high-sodium foods and a daily exercise routine will be your best bet in preventing swelling. In fact, I had very little swelling through my fit and healthy pregnancy, even though I was puffy and swollen through my first three. Here’s a comparison of my fittest pregnancy and my unhealthiest pregnancy.

Here are a few ways you can naturally reduce swelling and bloat during pregnancy.

Lemon Juice

Adding just a dash of pure lemon juice (not from concentrate) to your water not only helps flavor your water, but can help reduce swelling. Lemon juice is a mild and safe diuretic that will help your system rid itself of excess water. This was the number one method that worked for my swelling during pregnancy.

11 Ways To Naturally Reduce Swelling During Pregnancy

Cucumber

Cucumbers are also a natural diuretic, containing sulfur and silicon, that stimulate the kidneys to be more efficient. Eat them raw or you can also add them to your water.

Dandelion Tea

Dandelion is a good source of phytochemicals that encourage the elimination of excess fluid. Dandelion tea was recommended by my midwife and although it didn’t work that well for me, I’ve heard of others having great success with it. You can drink a cup of dandelion tea 2-3 times a day to relieve swelling.

11 Ways To Naturally Reduce Swelling During Pregnancy

Exercise

Staying active is one of the best ways to relieve swelling during pregnancy. Because circulation slows during pregnancy, the blood and fluid in our body can pool, causing a buildup of fluid. Moving and stretching gets the circulation going, reducing the amount of fluid that builds up. For a complete guide to fit pregnancy, check out my ebook here!

Compression Socks

Compression hosiery and socks help improve circulation by improving venous blood to the heart. As an added bonus, compression socks can prevent varicose veins in your legs, which can be common during pregnancy. While they certainly weren’t the cutest thing in the world, my compression socks helped a ton with swelling.

Epsom Salt

A warm bath with some epsom salt added can help draw fluid out of the body. Add 1 cup of the salt (magnesium sulfate) per gallon of warm water and soak your hands, feet, or your entire body.

Essential Oils

Grapefruit, Lemongrass, and Cypress essential oils can be used together to massage onto swollen feet and ankles to reduce swelling. Mix these with coconut oil and rub in 2-3 drops on the swollen area (it’s best to avoid essential oils in your first trimester).

Foot Massage

While you’re down there with the essential oils, go ahead and give yourself a good foot and leg massage. Better yet, get your partner or a massage therapist/reflexologist to do it for you. This not only relaxes you and feels amazing, but will increase your circulation and reduce fluid buildup.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is said to help improve circulation and fluid metabolism. Make sure your acupuncturist is licensed and experienced with pregnancy.

Cabbage Leaf

Wrapping a cabbage leaf around the swollen area for 20 minutes can draw out excess fluid and reduce swelling.

Chiropractic Treatment

Another way to increase circulation is to have chiropractic treatment. I used a chiropractor who specialized in pregnancy and these treatments instantly reduced my swelling, the minute I walked out of the office. Chiropractic treatment takes pressure off of vital joints and nerves that tend to be compressed during pregnancy, which in turn promotes healthy circulation to extremities that pool with fluid.

How did you reduce swelling during your pregnancy?

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  1. Melanie

    June 7th, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Thanks for this great post. I’ve tried the lemon water and cucumbers for two days and noticed a difference. Just a question- do you need to leave the skin on the cucumbers for the benefit or is unpeeled ok too? Thanks!

  2. Deanna Schober

    June 8th, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    While I’m not 100% certain, I would think that the antioxidants and flavinoids that reduce inflammation are found in the skin, so I’d leave the peel on!

  3. paul

    August 6th, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Thanks for the advice i think i can help my wife manage her pregnancy now.

  4. Nina

    November 6th, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Why is lemon from concentrate not recommended for help with swelling?

  5. Deanna Schober

    November 6th, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    I sort of worded that funny, didn’t I. I just meant actual lemon juice, not lemonade, because it tastes better in water.

  6. Heather

    January 21st, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Watermelon works great too. And is a nice refreshing treat on a hot day. All three of my babies were born late summer/early fall and watermelon was a huge help with swelling.

  7. Deanna Schober

    January 22nd, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for this! Can’t go wrong with watermelon.

  8. jhan eymard

    February 4th, 2016 at 3:41 am

    thanks it will help a lot

  9. Amellia

    April 29th, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Have you heard of using milk thistle?

  10. Becky

    July 28th, 2016 at 11:45 am

    I was recently told by my perinatologist that soaking in a pool up to my neck would help. The theory is that even pressure over your entire body squeezes all of the fluid out of your tissue spaces and pushes it into your urinary system. He said that women will often times get out of the pool and urinate 1-2 liters of excess fluid. – I haven’t tried this yet, as I don’t have access to a pool, but I think it’s worth a shot. Not to mention, getting into a pool in the summer time sounds lovely. He said did say that you can achieve the same goal by getting into a bathtub, as well, but the tub has to be deep enough to fully submerge yourself (like a jacuzzi tub), otherwise it won’t work.

  11. Stormy

    November 28th, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    How much is “a dash” of lemon juice? And did you add it to every water bottle or just a few times a day?

  12. Deanna Schober

    December 3rd, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    About a tablespoon to each bottle

  13. G

    May 15th, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    I heard that lemongrass oil is unsafe to use during pregnancy. Is this true even topically on your feet? I accidentally dropped one drop directly on my foot. Is this cause for concern? I’m at the end of my pregnancy. Thanks.

  14. Lindsay

    February 24th, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    For the essential oils, do you mean to add 2-3 drops of each oil to coconut oil (virgin unrefined) ? Or do you mean to mix X amount of each oil with fractionated coconut oil, and then to use 2-3 drops of the mixture? Can you please clarify, as this is a route that I would like to use, as well as my mother would like to try for the excess water retention. Thank you so much.

  15. Deanna Schober

    February 26th, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Add 2-3 drops of the mixture

  16. Kat Kerney

    October 11th, 2018 at 10:04 am

    I have been taking epsom salt baths when my hands and feet start to swell. It works so well for me!! My feet look and feel normal again after the bath.

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