Early in pregnancy, the mother’s body begins to prepare for all the energy and stretching it requires to grow and deliver the baby. Her joints begin to loosen as the body prepares for delivery. She may be feeling nauseated, distracted, overwhelmed or simply feeling sleepy. All of this can lead to slips, falls, scrapes or bruises.
Clean minor cuts or scrapes with an antiseptic wash and cover the wound with a bandage. The doctor should be consulted if there is a significant fall or unexplained bruises.
During pregnancy, the feet and ankles may swell. This typically occurs in the third trimester. As the uterus grows, it begins to exert pressure on the veins in the lower body, this slows the blood circulation. Moreover due to the hormonal changes, blood vessels become dilated and increase blood volume. This causes the feet and ankles to swell. The swelling subsides once the baby is born.
To minimise the discomfort that comes with swelling, the mother can do the following things:
- Drink plenty of water so that the body will not retain much fluid.
- Avoid salty and junk food as they cause the body to retain fluids.
- Change position frequently. If she is sitting or standing for too long, her legs might swell up.
- Avoid crossing the legs. Crossing the legs can slow the blood flow.
- Elevate the feet. Propping up the feet will help the blood circulate which will prevent swelling.
- She should lie on her left-hand side.
As the mother focuses her full attention and energy on the newborn baby, it is important that she does not neglect herself.