By Ruona Isikeh
Benin, July 22,2020 Dr Iwinosa Ehigiator, a Medical Practitioner and Gynecologist in the Estate Clinic, Benin, has advised pregnant women to get adequate rest to avoid edema.
Ehigiator gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Benin on Wednesday.
The webmd.com defines edema as the medical term for swelling that occurs when too much fluid becomes trapped in the tissues of the body, particularly the skin.
Ehigiator said: “Edema is swelling in the hands, face, legs, ankles and feet.’’
“During pregnancy, the body produces approximately 50 per cent more blood and body fluids to meet the needs of the developing baby.
“Swelling is a normal part of pregnancy that is caused by this additional blood and fluid.
“Normal swelling, which is also called edema is experienced in the hands, face, legs, ankles, and feet.
“This extra retention of fluid is needed to soften the body, which enables it to expand as the baby develops.”
According to him, extra fluid also helps prepare the pelvic joints and tissues to open for delivery.
“The extra fluids account for approximately 25 per cent of the weight women gain during pregnancy,” the gynaecologist told NAN.
He said that edema could be experienced at any point during pregnancy but it tends to be noticed around the fifth month and could increase in the third trimester.
On some of the likely causes of edema in pregnancy, Ehigiator said that standing for long periods of time, having long days of activities, diet low in potassium, high level of caffeine consumption and high level of sodium intake are factors responsible for edema.
“However, if you experience sudden swelling in your hands and your face, it could be a sign of preeclampsia.
“It is important to contact your healthcare provider about any sudden swelling,” he said.
He said that edema could be avoided by eating foods high in potassium including bananas and by avoiding caffeine.
Others are standing for long periods, minimising outdoor time when it is hot, resting with one’s feet being elevated and avoiding high heeled shoes.