How to Prevent Water Retention During Pregnancy

How can you prevent or reduce water retention during pregnancy? Preventing water retention during pregnancy was a big concern for me throughout my pregnancy. Is is possible to prevent water retention, or is it inevitable to experience swollen hands, ankles, face, etc? The answer — it is absolutely possible to prevent water retention during pregnancy, but like anything else, it takes commitment and hard work. Here are some pointers to help prevent or reduce your pregnancy (or non pregnancy) water retention. I followed these tips and did not exeprience any noticeable water retention or a swollen face and ankles.

■ Exercise, exercise, exercise! This seems like a no brainer! Exercise helps increase circulation which prevents or relieves water retention and fluid build up. I would recommend that every pregnant or non pregnant woman get at least 60-90 minutes of cardio (walking, jogging, swimming, etc) every day!

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■ Prevent water retention during pregnancy by drinking more water! Sound wierd? The recommendation is at least 8-10 glasses of water per day. Drinking more water helps to dilute the toxins in your body. A lot of my clients prefer not to drink as much the day before a weigh in – this is a bad idea and will cause the opposite effect. Your body will start to store up/retain water if you do not hydrate enough (because it goes into survival mode). How do you know if you are drinking enough? Your pee will be clear.

■ Eat a low-sodium diet to prevent water retention during pregnancy. Believe it or not, this is a controversial tip. Why? Because many argue that our bodies need sodium, and a low-sodium diet will not help in preventing water retention. Let me clear up the confusion. Our bodies DO need sodium, but a small very small amount. It’s almost impossible not to get enough sodium – however, in the rare instance that someone does not intake enough sodium, their bodies will start to retain water for survival. The adequate amount of sodium is between 250 and 500 mg/day. I usually hit that around lunch time I have to be very conscious about how much processed foods I eat to prevent from going above the tolerable upper intake level (2300 mg). Cutting out excess sodium means much more than not adding salt to your veggies. It means being intentional about consuming more raw fruits and veggies, whole grains, fiber dense foods, etc, and less packaged, prepared meals and snacks. Log your food intake on caloriecount.com if you are curious as to how much sodium you have in your diet. You’ll be shocked!

■ Eat more potassium dense foods to prevent or reduce water retention during pregnancy. As mentioned above, most of us get far more sodium that we need in our diets…in the same way, most of us get far LESS potassium that we need in our diets. In fact, I have logged on caloriecount.com for months, and NEVER hit the recommended daily amount of pottasium – not even once – and not even close. The RDA for potassium is 4700 mg per day. I usually get about half of that. And believe me, I eat lot of bananas! Potassium helps prevent your body from storing water, so educate yourself about foods that contain high levels of potassium.

These tips will help you on your journey to prevent water retention during pregnancy (or even if you’re not pregnant). And yes, it is possible to reduce or prevent water retention and fluid buildup even in the third trimester of pregnancy! Exercise, eat low sodim foods, and drink lots of water, and potassium dense foods. Best wishes.

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