While swollen facial skin, especially around the eyes, lips, cheeks, nose and forehead can be quite visible during pregnancy, many women don’t realize why they experience these symptoms. Some causes of swelling during pregnancy include; hormonal changes, increased blood volume, increased body weight, enlarged breasts, increased lymphatic flow and fluid retention.
What Causes Swelling During Pregnancy
Fluid may build in tissues as pregnancy advances, most commonly in the feet, ankles, and legs, causing them to swell and appear puffy. The face and hands occasionally swell as well. It’s typical for some fluid to accumulate throughout pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. At least 25% of the fluid will be transported to the interstitial space, eventually manifesting clinically as pregnant women’s lower leg edema.
Fluid accumulates during pregnancy because the adrenal glands produce more of the hormones that cause fluid retention (aldosterone and cortisol); it also accumulates because the enlarged uterus interferes with the blood flow that returns blood from the legs to the heart. As a result, fluid is stored in the veins of the legs, which leaks into the surrounding tissues. Swelling can occur at any time during pregnancy, but it is most noticeable during the fifth month and can worsen during the third trimester.
During the second trimester there is a significant increase in blood flow to the area surrounding the uterus and this usually results in extra blood being carried by your lymph nodes, which results in an increased rate of lymphatic drainage. In addition, there is a tendency for the fat cells around the areas surrounding the body to swell up as their main function is to protect against infection or injury. This normally occurs in the armpits, breasts, groins, thighs, abdomen and face.
Why do your lips swell up during pregnancy?
Although swelling of the lips is not a common sign of pregnancy, it does occur in many women. Although this swelling of the lips can be evident at times, it is usually so minor that you are the only one who notices it. During pregnancy, many areas of a woman’s body become inflamed. Among them are the lips. This is usually caused by physiological changes in the mother’s blood circulation as a result of the baby’s development.
In other words, having swollen lips during pregnancy can be completely normal. Especially during the third trimester. It’s also possible that, in addition to your lips, your nose swells a little or that your entire face puffs out a little. Because of the baby’s weight and the increased volume of blood and flow that happens during the months of pregnancy, these symptoms are caused by changes in blood circulation. If the swelling of the lips occurs only at the end of pregnancy, i.e. has not occurred throughout the pregnancy, it may be an indication that the time to have the baby is already very close.
In addition to local edema, chapped lips and drier-than-normal lips are possible side effects of pregnancy. This is due to the fact that the body requires more hydration throughout the 9 months of pregnancy, and some of it is received through the skin surface. Furthermore, the skin tissue, particularly in the face, receives more blood flow. This improves the turgor of the lips’ skin. When the swelling of the lips is caused by pregnancy, it usually goes away once the baby is born. When the causes are different, however, it may be necessary to use some kind of intervention.
Is it a problem to have swollen lips during pregnancy?
In general, it is a small annoyance that might even improve the appearance of your face. It is a natural shift that, unless it is extremely excessive, will not give you any problems or pain. If you don’t like your lips like this, remember that it’s just temporary, and it’s a symptom that can be reduced if you increase circulation during your pregnancy.
To do so, keep the following suggestions in mind:
- Moderate physical activity that is tailored to your new situation is recommended.
- Consume a nutritious and balanced diet, with a focus on vegetables and potassium-rich foods such as carrots, peas, asparagus, and lettuce, among others.
You should be aware of these changes because they could indicate that the baby’s sex is changing or that the pregnant woman is about to give birth, though it is best to consult a doctor if you suspect that there is a problem or that swollen lips in pregnancy are causing discomfort or pain in the lips and face, as it could be an allergy or a reaction.
Read also: 23 Things Only Pregnant Women Understand
How To Reduce Swelling of Face and Lips During Pregnancy?
Pregnant women who lead a healthier life, that is, who eat correctly, exercise, do not smoke, and do not gain too much weight, will be less likely to swell during pregnancy. According to specialists, women who become pregnant by artificial methods are also more likely to bloat. This occurs due to the use and management of hormones. Progesterone and estradiol levels reach a level ten times higher than usual.
Apply Cold Face Mask
Compressions of cold therapy help to alleviate inflammation and swelling (such as that induced by excessive salt consumption). As a result, if you apply a cold pack to your face in the morning, you may be able to lessen some of the unwanted swelling in your face that is caused by inflammation. Just remember to avoid placing ice straight on your skin!
Gel face masks are ideal for this because they can easily be frozen and used as cold packs that can be directly applied to your face because there is a barrier between the ice and your skin (although use caution and make sure the pack isn’t too cold when applying to your face’s delicate skin), and they are reusable!
Perform more physical activity
It is recommended that pregnant women get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, divided into 3 sessions. For example, try walking or swimming. This will promote good blood circulation. Also, standing or walking in water may give you some relief.
Women who engage in high levels of physical exercise or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity on a regular basis should discuss their activity level with their health care practitioner throughout their pregnancy. They may be able to continue their activity if their condition does not deteriorate. Even if you didn’t exercise before to becoming pregnant, moderate-intensity physical activity is still recommended. Consult your doctor for advice on how to get started.
Avoid Hot Bath
Hot baths should be avoided during pregnancy due to the risk of overheating as well as the increased risk of dizziness and fainting. A considerable increase in your core body temperature, especially during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, may obstruct your baby’s development.
It’s pretty unlikely that you’d take a bath hot enough to harm your baby inside. However, before pouring the water, test the temperature with your forearm or wrist to be safe. It should be pleasant to the touch and not scorching hot. If you’re concerned, you can use a bath thermometer to check the water temperature.
Raise your head when sleeping
Sleeping with your head lifted, in particular, has been demonstrated to have numerous health benefits, including reducing symptoms of a variety of common ailments and assisting you in getting the rest that your body requires. Sleeping in the zero-gravity position, with both your head and feet raised, increases blood flow to your heart and helps your circulatory system perform more efficiently.
Finding a comfortable sleeping posture when you’re pregnant is difficult at best. It’s not a good idea to sleep on your back since it can restrict blood vessels and slow blood circulation in both you and your baby. With books or blocks, raise the top of your bed a few inches. This will help relieve heartburn by elevating your head.
Sleep on Left side
Pregnant women have long believed that sleeping on their left side is essential. For some, it is the most comfortable position to sleep in without causing back pain or putting too much weight on the stomach. During pregnancy, women are also recommended to avoid resting on their backs or stomachs since the blood vessels are likely to be constricted by the uterus’s weight. As a result, the baby’s blood supply will be restricted, and he or she may become underweight.
Some doctors recommend sleeping on your side because it improves blood flow to the placenta, resulting in a steady supply of nutrients and oxygen to your baby. Good blood circulation has numerous advantages, including the reduction of varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and leg edema. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try moving your pillows or doing some gentle stretches to see what works best for you so you can get some rest.