Lower limb water retention is a condition we see in some women entering their third trimester. The edema is most significant in the calves and ankles; there may also be some feeling of heaviness.
During pregnancy, the circulatory system comes under increasing pressure, and so some amount of swelling is normal and it often goes away after delivery of the child. What women do need to check for (and this is often monitored by the Obstetrician-Gynecologist or Midwife) is the possibility of pre-eclampsia, which presents with hypertension and protein in the urine.
Otherwise, women with water retention during pregnancy may consider our lymphatic drainage services. Our practitioner will point out your areas of congestion and alleviate the fluid buildup by facilitating lymph flow. Lymphatic drainage is a very gentle form of body where the practitioner stretches your skin and more superficial soft tissue in the direction of lymph flow. This promotes optimal functioning of the lymphatic system which is the waste disposal of the body, and for those with lymph node congestion, an experienced lymphatic drainage specialist will be able to map out those areas of congestion and clear them out systematically.
Other signs that you could benefit from treatment include:
- Prior disposition (even before pregnancy) toward water retention in the body
- Varicose vein buildup during pregnancy, which shows strain upon the circulatory system from the enlarged uterus, increased blood volume and also changes in hormone levels.
The health of the fluid metabolism system can also be improved through the use of acupuncture, where needles are planted and left to lightly stimulate the neuro-endocrine system. While localized points around the area of local edema can be helpful, it is recommended that the treatment be focused on the entire body.