Swelling of the legs after childbirth: causes and methods of treatment

When a woman is in an interesting position, small swelling of the extremities is considered to be quite normal. Usually they are associated with the natural accumulation of fluid in the body of the future mother, necessary for the full development of the future man. But why do swelling of the legs after childbirth, because after rebuilding, the body must remove the unnecessary water?

legs swell after childbirth

Identify and eliminate

The causes of these phenomena may be hidden in the occurrence of health problems. Often, the swelling occurs due to the exacerbation of old chronic diseases or the emergence of new diseases, triggered by physiological changes that occurred during pregnancy.

Many young women are frightened and alarmed by the appearance of edema of the legs after childbirth, and they do not know what to do. These concerns are not groundless. Most often, after the birth of a child, the kidneys and veins of a young mother suffer, since it is for them that it is most difficult to recover from the global changes occurring in the body.In any case, to establish the exact cause and get rid of these phenomena, you must consult a doctor. After examining and prescribing the necessary research, the doctor will be able to recommend appropriate treatment for leg edema after delivery.

The first reason: a violation of the kidneys

Pregnancy is a very difficult period for the kidneys. Quickly return to normal after pregnancy is difficult for them. Therefore, for some time they will slowly withdraw fluid. The situation can exacerbate the chronic diseases of the genitourinary system that exist in the mother. To rule out the occurrence of serious pathologies, a woman needs to see a doctor and pass a series of tests.

If the swelling of the legs after childbirth is accompanied by a noticeable pain in the lower abdomen, which, by the way, is very often confused with the general post-natal soreness, then most likely there is an exacerbation of cystitis. Inflammation of the bladder can have extremely unpleasant consequences, so you shouldn’t pull with a visit to the urologist either. A few simple but very important analyzes will help determine or eliminate the cause of the swelling.

What to do with swelling of the legs after childbirth


Circulatory disorders in the limbs caused by fetal pressure during pregnancy on the pelvic vessels predispose to the appearance of various pathologies. Inelastic walls of blood vessels or weak vein valves trigger the development of varicose veins after childbirth. Swelling of the legs, heaviness or burning may be a fundamental symptom.

Postpartum Gestosis

Gestosis - severe pathology during pregnancy. Usually its manifestation is observed at the end of the second - the beginning of the third trimester. It is practically not amenable to medical treatment and most often passes after delivery. The mild forms of this pathology have no consequences and disappear completely on the second day after birth.

More severe forms of preeclampsia may persist after childbirth. The main symptoms here will be: high blood pressure, detection of a large amount of protein in the tests taken, rapid weight gain associated with the appearance of strong leg edema. After childbirth, such phenomena should stabilize, however, if the disease seriously affected the organs of the mother, this does not occur. Treatment in this case takes place under strict medical supervision.

leg swelling treatment after childbirth

Other reasons

Often the banal cause of such a pathology becomes unhealthy diet. Abuse of fried, spicy and salty foods, the use of large amounts of tea or coffee in combination with bad habits can provoke swelling of limbs.

Long edema of the legs does not go away when, after giving birth, mother immediately returns to work in the office. The lack of physical exertion and prolonged sitting at the computer is clearly not what the body needs during this period. And the appearance of additional loads in the form of yet unusual concerns, essentially “embellishing” the picture. Sometimes young mothers can relax only at night, and then only for a few hours.

It can take up to four weeks for the body to return the lymph flow and blood circulation to normal.

Severe swelling of the legs

Risks of self-treatment

Very often, with the appearance of edema of the legs after childbirth, women independently prescribe diuretic medication for themselves. This is fundamentally wrong. With such drugs should be very careful, since most diuretic tablets excrete potassium from the body, which negatively affects the functioning of the heart and the condition of the blood vessels.After inadequate diuretic therapy, not only does the risk of cardiovascular diseases appear, but the likelihood of increased swelling after drug withdrawal remains. In addition, diuretics will be completely ineffective in the formation of venous pathologies.

leg swelling baths after childbirth

Alternative medicine

Diuretic fees are less dangerous for the body, but even their reception must be agreed with the doctor. When using herbs in situations where the legs in the ankles swell after childbirth, there is always the risk of allergic reactions. Similar methods are undesirable when breastfeeding. Since all the products that mom consumes through the breastmilk will get the baby, the baby also has a chance to earn allergies.

In addition, to properly brew medicinal herbs, sometimes you have to tinker a lot, and this is not always the way for a young mother.

Gymnastics for legs: how to remove swelling

Legs swell for no apparent reason? In this case, special gymnastics can help, which doctors often recommend to their patients.Such exercises will be much more effective if you do them standing:

  • Exactly stand on the floor and alternately lift one leg, then the other, staying in this position for a few seconds.
  • Walk barefoot on tiptoes, make a few jumps on your toes.
  • Do "rolls" the weight of the body from one foot to the other.
  • Roll weight from heels to socks and from socks to heels.

The following exercises are performed in the sitting position:

  • Barefoot foot alternate rotational motion clockwise and then counterclockwise.
  • Raise the toes of the legs as much as possible upwards, and then also bend down as far as possible.
  • Try as much as possible to "spread apart" the toes, and then close them.
  • Do foot rolls from heel to toe and then back.
  • Try to lift a small object with your feet from the floor.
Swelling of the legs after childbirth: what to do

Swelling of the legs after childbirth: what to do

If edema appears on the extremities, then there is no need to postpone the visit to the doctor - it is necessary to start treatment immediately. Such phenomena themselves do not disappear, but only worsen over time. Depending on the true cause of unwanted symptoms, the doctor prescribes treatment.So, after the birth of the child's legs swell. How to remove the swelling, so as not to harm the body and at the same time get rid of the disease quickly, such a summary table will prompt.

What can cause swelling

What to do

Kidney pathology

It is necessary to consult a nephrologist. Most likely, after some laboratory tests, diuretic drugs will be prescribed.

Varicose changes

Consultation with a phlebologist is necessary. After examination, the doctor may recommend ointments and venotonic preparations.


A phlebologist will probably prescribe a duplex scan of the venous system. Depending on the results obtained, a treatment regimen will be assigned.


You need to review and change your daily diet: exclude fried and salty foods from the menu, reduce fluid intake and add steamed dishes

Disruption of sleep and rest can cause puffiness of the limbs: in endless household chores and taking care of the baby, the young mother forgets that she also needs to rest.

prevention of leg swelling after childbirth


To reduce the risk of edema, you should regularly give your feet a rest and carry out preventive measures. For this, doctors recommend:

  • Every two or three hours go to bed, putting your feet on a hill (a pillow or a blanket rolled into a roll). It is not recommended to sit or stand for a long time.
  • To do special therapeutic exercises.
  • Foot baths and contrasting procedures followed by rubbing the limbs with a hard towel is an excellent tool not only for strengthening the muscles and walls of blood vessels, but also in the fight against cellulite.
  • Adhere to proper, balanced, regular meals and, if possible, limit the use of tea or coffee. In the fight against limb edema, well the use of tomatoes, viburnum, cranberries, sea buckthorn, lemon (assuming no allergy to these products) will help.
  • Get rid of bad habits (if any).
  • For symptoms of swelling, consult a specialist.

Listen to the signals of your body, because often even a small steady swelling of the legs in the evenings can indicate the occurrence of serious diseases.

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