What to Know About Postpartum Swelling

In this  article, we will discuss What to Know About Postpartum Swelling  

Postpartum oedema, also known as postpartum swelling, is caused by excessive fluid within the body’s tissue following birth.

Extremities that are swollen (hands, feet, hands and ankles) and weight gain are the primary signs of oedema.

The swelling can result in the skin appearing stretched and inflamed. It can make the surface of the skin appear shiny or puffy.

Mild oedema is quite common, and most women experience some swelling following birth.

 The body prepares itself for birth by retaining water to allow the body’s tissues to adapt to the growing baby and then naturally eliminates this fluid after childbirth.

   Postpartum Swelling: What Is It?    

The appearance of swelling is quite common during the postpartum phase. It typically gets worse in the first week postpartum.

However, it will improve over time. The majority of the cause of the swelling is the accumulation of fluid in certain regions of your body.

 If you keep yourself hydrated, the body will have a much easier time releasing the extra fluid that causes the swelling.

You need to walk around and move around following delivery to avoid complications that can cause swelling in the legs.

 However, be careful not to overdo your exercise. Discuss with your doctor the possibility of developing a postpartum fitness program that is suited to your requirements.

types of postpartum swelling

Breast swelling

It happens when your breasts expand due to being filled with milk. This usually happens just a few days after the birth.

 The breasts can also be sensitive and tender. The discomfort will subside when you begin nursing often.


It is possible to experience an uncomfortable swelling and swell of veins within the rectum during pregnancy.

 If you don’t, you could be affected by the pressure and pushing during delivery. Haemorrhoids can be painful and may cause bleeding following a bowel movement.

How to deal with haemorrhoids:

  • Take a bath in the warm water
  • Talk to your doctor about an over-the-counter cream or spray to treat pain.
  • Consume high in fibre diets like vegetables, fruits as well as whole-grain cereals and bread
  • Drink plenty of water

Retention of water.

 Also known as postpartum oedema (swelling). After birth, the body stores water due to the increased progesterone.

It is possible to notice swelling of your arms, hands and feet, ankles, and legs. Oedema isn’t expected to last for more than a week following delivery.

If it does, or when it becomes worse, talk to your physician.

The signs of oedema are:

  • The swelling or puffiness of the tissue directly beneath your skin, particularly in your arms or legs
  • Skin that is shiny or stretched

Skin that has dimples (pits) after pressing for a few minutes

The abdominal area is growing

Deep vein thrombosis. Are you experiencing swelling that is accompanied by redness, pain or warmth within your legs, specifically on your calves?

 This could be an indication of deep vein blood clots. It is when a blood clot is formed deep within your body, often on the leg below or the thigh.

What causes postpartum swelling?

During pregnancy, your body produces approximately 50 percent more fluids and blood than normal to meet the demands of your baby’s growing needs and the placenta.

All that fluid helps soften your body, so it can better accommodate your baby’s growth and development inside the womb.

 It also prepares your joints and tissues of your pelvis to stretch due to the delivery. Around 25% of the weight you gain during pregnancy is from extra fluids.

How Long Does Postpartum Edema Last?

The swelling postpartum in your feet, legs and hands will decrease within the first week of the birth.

At this point, your body is flushing out excess fluid from the tissues in the swollen areas. This process can take a different duration for each individual.

However, it can be speeded up by eating healthy meals drinking plenty of water and allowing your body to take a break and recuperate.


Can I Take Water Pills?

Using any prescription water pills (diuretic) is not recommended during pregnancy.

A diuretic after pregnancy may help ease symptoms, but it is best done by drinking plenty of fluids and eating foods that contain natural diuretics, such as lemons and cucumbers.

Dandelion tea is known to help prevent the retention of fluids.

8 Ways to Treat Postpartum Swelling

Relax, relax, relax! Oedema that occurs after pregnancy is normal and will fade. Maintaining a healthy diet, taking a break, and being hydrated are the best methods to prevent swelling from worsening.


1.      Avoid standing for too long.

If you have to be on your feet, you should try to break frequently so that you can lay down by elevating your feet to increase circulation.

While sitting, try not to cross your legs. This can impede blood flow.

2.      Wear comfortable shoes

Wear shoes that don’t restrict your feet. Avoid high heels as much as you can. Wear clothing that doesn’t fit around your ankles and wrists.

Choose looser clothing to ensure that you don’t strain your circulation.

3.   Drink up

This may sound contradictory, but drinking plenty of water will cause the body’s system to clear any retained fluids.

 Additionally, ensure you regularly urinate to ensure that the fluids are not staying longer than they are required.

Include lemons, apples, citrus fruits, and cucumbers into your drink to get an additional boost since they are natural diuretics.

4.   Sit down.

Avoid standing for an extended period, and ensure you sit down. Don’t cross your legs when sitting down, as this can reduce circulation.

 Keep your legs elevated above your heart for about 20 minutes during the day to boost your circulation and decrease swelling.

5.   Get a massage.    

This is the perfect moment to ask for the massage of your spouse.

 If you’re not experiencing any discomfort, ask your partner to massage your feet and legs with a gentle touch.

6.Acupuncture treatment.

This may help to balance internal energy levels and boost circulation.

7.    Stay cool.

Maintain your body’s temperature at a moderate level and avoid becoming too hot. Heat can worsen swelling.

8.   Compression n garments save your day.

Compression socks are an absolute lifesaver for women who experience postpartum swelling of their lower bodies.

 For the best outcomes, put the stockings on early in a morning.

Additionally, postpartum compression garments allow for gentle compression to help reduce swelling in other areas.

Final thoughts about What You Need to Know About Postpartum Swelling

Can postpartum swelling last months?

Postpartum oedema will disappear by itself in around one week.

However, it can last several days longer if you have preeclampsia or high blood pressure related to pregnancy is the cause of swelling on hands and feet during the last trimester of pregnancy.


How long does postpartum swelling usually last?

It is common for postpartum women to experience swelling, particularly on their feet and legs.

This is generally the body’s method of getting rid of extra fluid accumulated throughout pregnancy. The swelling can be awaited for about two to three weeks to heal.

When should I call the doctor for postpartum swelling?

You experience swelling and other symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia like severe headaches, vomiting, blurred vision or the sensitivity to light.

You experience chest pains or breathing difficulties. The C-section scar is swelling accompanied by bleeding, pain, liquid, or pus.

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