Dear Aunty Tina, I am in my third trimester and my hands and feet are swollen. Should I be concerned?
Third Trimester Swelling is common and is actually a sign of health. The swelling is due to water retention that will help you through the labor process and postpartum, kind of like how a camel stores water. It is only problematic if it is pitting – if you press your finger on your skin and it leaves a dip for a few seconds, or if it is uncomfortable. This may be a sign that your sodium levels are out of balance with your potassium levels. In this case I would recommend eating more bananas which are a great source of potassium, cucumbers which are naturally diuretic and make sure you are eating 3-4 servings of greens which will help absorb protein and help flush out excess fat and water. Uva Ursi extract or hibiscus tinctures and tea are great natural diuretics too and a shot glass of apple cider vinegar won’t hurt either. Making sure you are well hydrated, by drinking lots of water, will help keep your system flushed and help reduce excess water retention. Please, however, contact your health practitioner if your hands are stiff and tingling, and are not getting better, as this may be a sign of something far more serious.