36 answers

Postpartum Swelling?

Hi--I had a baby last week and had no swelling through the pregnancy or at the hospital. Now that I'm home my ankles and feet are unrecognizable. I'm trying to figure out if it's too much time on my feet (this is my 3rd baby) or if I should be doing more walking? Anyone had this experience? I'd love some advice. Thanks!

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With both my pregnancies, I swelled like a balloon, my feet and ankles felt like they were going to split. I was told it was because I had a c-section, but I have heard of others swelling too that have had v births.

My doc told me to lay down, and raise my feet above my heart, and it did seem to work, totally uncomfortable at times, but worth it in the end, cause the swelling did decrease. Good luck and congrats!

That happened to me too! I drank lots of water and kept my feet elevated when sitting or lying down. For me it went away in less than a week.

Hi E.,

After my son was born by Cesarean I had phenomenal swelling due to the IV's placed for fluids.

It took 3-4 weeks to go away. My legs were hideous.

It gradually went away, but would have gone away quicker if I had been more mobile sooner.

Did you have IV's by any chance? This is a normal response per my OB.

S.

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Oh my gosh! I have the SAME problem, only my kids are 23 and 25! My feet are now attached to my legs at my "cankles", and my stomache sits on my lap! Any help out there?????

1 mom found this helpful

Are you breast feeding? I know women swell before the child is born. For the first week, its a good idea to relax. Your body as you know has gone through the changes before and after a child is born. I hear people swell during pregnancy but not after. Give it a week or two, you might see some changes. Women lose the weight with breastfeeding. Maybe soak your feet to relax them, maybe the swelling will go down.

I had the same thing happen! It took about a week or so to get back to normal. The nuse said that it was normal and there was nothing to do about it. Just hang in there and rest!

Drink lots of water. This will help you flush out the excess fluids from labor... i.e. IV fluids etc. The fluid goes to your feet because of gravity. Give it another week and it will subside. Just keep drinking the water and you will pee more and this will help flush your system of the fluid retention.
Congrats
TR

Hi my name's V. and I just had my little boy 4 months ago. I also had no swelling during pregnancy or delivery. However, the day after delivery my feet were also unrecognizeable. I asked my ob about it and she said that my body was exserting extra fluid and that it was completely normal. Just try to drink a lot of water to help you feel a little more comfortable until the swelling goes down. Good luck! I hope this helped!

I had the same thing after my last c-section. I told my doctor and he said that it is normal. It went away after a week or two. He just had me put my feet up as often as I could and had me drink warm water with lemon in it, which is a natural diuretic.

It could be nothing, or it could be something. Go to the doctor and check. It will be reassuring to ask and find out.

Hi E.,
I always had swelling towards the end with each of my children(8). It was always gone 24-48 hrs. after birth. My youngest was medi flighted to Oakland Children's hospital, in NICU for over a week. Because of being on my feet almost non stop, my feet were turning purple. They (smart nurses in NICU) actually had me see an ER dr. there and he gave me a diaretic. With in hours it was gone. He said basically my body wasn't realizing I wasn't pg any more, and it was compounded by the extra stress happening. I was told to drink a ton of water, stay off my feet. Within 24hrs. I was totally fine. I was told that because the NICU nurses were so on top of it, I was saved from a much more serious situation. Call your midwife/dr. hugs~~K.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY!!!! HAPPY BEING A MOOMMY AGAIN!!! :)

You didn't mention whether or not you had an epidural, but I was told that it can be an effect of the epidural. I had the same problem after my son was born. Keep your legs up as much as you can!

Reduce salt intake and drink your 8-10 glasses of water.
Good Luck !

Congraluations! I too had the same issue, no swelling during pregnancy but very swollen feet and ankles for about a few days afterwards. My OB told me this was normal, as the body has accumulated extra fluid. I also forgot that I was taking Motrin three to four times a day postpartum, which may cause some additional fluid retention. Luckily, the edema in the feet and ankles resolved within a few days.

I sure hope you'll talk to your doctor or advice nurse! It might just be your body balancing out, but that kind of health concern is something to be careful about. If you've got 3 kids you need to really take care of yourself.

grab the phone, sit down with the baby, put your feet up, and enjoy hanging around on hold until someone gives you the info you need. Best of luck and health!

I had the same thing. No swelling during pregnancy, but after I had my daughter, I had excessive and painful swelling in my legs and feet. Drink lots of tea and/or cranberry juice. That will help to flush the excess liquids out of your body. Also, when laying down, lay on your left side. My doctor told me it's normal because of all the fluids that you receive while in the hospital and should go away within 2 weeks. I think my swelling went down after about 10 days. Good Luck!

Walking will definitely help. Sounds like lymph pooling. Lymph system does not have valves in the little tubes that it flows through and it depends on movement of muscles to squeeze the wastes out. Lymph is your cleansing system. If you had a C-Section and they removed some of your lymph glands or cut through your lymph system which is on the surface, this is likely the cause.

I've heard of people who had rolls of what they thought was fat drooping off their legs go to a woman who does a very specialized Lymphatic Drainage Massage and after several sessions that was almost gone. This is a very specialized massage and a TRAINED professional must do it or teach you what to do. Most doctors have not heard of it, so don't be surprised. (they thought I had bacteria when it was a fungal infection, so they don't know everything and cannot take the time to find out).

Here is her contact information. Bernice Nielsen, CMT, MLDT ###-###-####, cell ###-###-####.

You could also learn how to do Quantum Touch for yourself. I did Quantum Touch for my mother and I saw the lymph start to drain up the leg, just as I'd seen in Bernice's introductory class at the Healing Arts Institute. I was not massaging at all, just holding the energy and it was happening all by itself. The body is very intelligent and when it receives the energy it wants, it will cooperate and function properly again. See my profile.

Love, L.

Hi E.,

After my son was born by Cesarean I had phenomenal swelling due to the IV's placed for fluids.

It took 3-4 weeks to go away. My legs were hideous.

It gradually went away, but would have gone away quicker if I had been more mobile sooner.

Did you have IV's by any chance? This is a normal response per my OB.

S.

That happened to me too! I drank lots of water and kept my feet elevated when sitting or lying down. For me it went away in less than a week.

I had the same experience as you...no swelling during pregnancy but I did after. I called the Dr and they said it is normal...espcecially if you had an IV..epidural etc since you were pumped with fluid. I would check with your Dr also. It did go away after a week.

That happened to me with my first child. No swelling during pregnancy and huge feet and ankles in the days after he was born. I was told to drink lots of water, walk when I could, and when I was sitting to have my feet elevated. I don't think it lasted more than a week, so hopefully the end is in sight for you. Good luck!

My feet did not swell till after I gave birth either. Drink lots of water and don't laugh but put your feet up for a while. I also found it helped to stack 3 pillows up and put my feet up when I went to bed. I did not sleep that way the whole night but I could at least get them up for a while.

I had the same thing after my daughter was born, the dr said it was normal. The swelling went away after a few days

With both my pregnancies, I swelled like a balloon, my feet and ankles felt like they were going to split. I was told it was because I had a c-section, but I have heard of others swelling too that have had v births.

My doc told me to lay down, and raise my feet above my heart, and it did seem to work, totally uncomfortable at times, but worth it in the end, cause the swelling did decrease. Good luck and congrats!

Sometime because of the IV's they give you or if you had a C-section -- they may pump you full of saline solution. I expericenced this with my 1st C-section, my legs were like tree trunks!
Get rest, elevate your feet and drink water to keep everything flushed thru your system.
It took about 2 weeks for it to go away and then I was fine!

I would call the doctor. Fluid retention can be serious- or it can be nothing. But I would definately call and see if they want you to come in...

I experienced the same thing after having my son. I had no swelling during the entire pregnancy but a few days after coming home my ankles and feet started swelling. I'd never seen them like that, it wasn't cute and I was worried they'd stay like that. Luckily it only lasted a week or two. Then they were completely back to normal. Hope yours return to normal soon.

You poor thing. I had the same problem. I was so swollen up after I gave birth that I weighed seven pounds MORE than before I gave birth. (And it wasn't just limited to my feet! Even my lower back had this gross pool of fluid on it.) This sounds counterintuitive, but the doctor said to drink lots and lots of water to help flush it out. I lost 25 pounds of water weight in less than a week just by drinking water and peeing it all out. I was also told to prop up my feet and that seemed to help as well.

The swelling is either a result of the IV fluids they give you or the epidural; I can't remember which.

Drink lots of water, get plenty of rest (yeah right) and good luck!

If you had an epidural or IV fluids, medication, etc. Then that is probably it. With my 1st, I had all of that and I looked like an elephant for awhile, but it does go away. I had a natural childbirth in a birthing tub the second time and had absolutely no swelling at all.

Hi, I had lots of swelling after my son was born,but I did have him c-sect. My entire body was swollen and I never had an ounce of swelling while pregnant,walking was the best way for me to get the swelling down and lots of water with fresh lemon in it, it really helps to act like a diaretic. You might just have excess water/liquid from the pregnancy. I hope this helps.
My name is T.

I had the same thing. My doc presribed motrin at the hospital, but I thought it was for pain....it was for the swelling. I wasn't taking it until I called them and told them what was going on. I started taking the motrin and the swelling went down.

Dear E.,
You are probably doing to much but if you had an epidural or a medicated birth this can happen some times even excess IV fluids can do this. The best thing you can do for yourself is rest and get good stay away from processed foods nutrition and drink lots of fluids, keep those feet up , let everyone take care of you and let your doctor know about your swelling.

Hi, I had the same problem right after my son was born. I was told by my doctor that my body was going thru a cycle after birth. I should rest when my child is resting and elavate my feet. After, a few days of the advise, it went back to normal. Take Care!

with my last child i swelled up afterwards too. i was told to rest more and prop my feet up when not resting.

I had no swelling at all during pregnancy, but about a week after my C- section. My legs/ankles swelled up pretty bad for a couple days.

Hi- I had swelling really bad during & after my first pregnancy. Our first son was 5 week premature & I was told it was from all the fluids & meds (pitocin) I was given during labor. I think the swelling lasted about 2 weeks or so. Second time around I didn't swell much during the pregnancy or much afterwards. Think it was cuz I had no pitocin & fluids for less time( 16 hours 1st labor VS 5.5 hrs for 2nd labor) & the epidural didn't take....UUGGHH! So, my guess is it's from any drugs/fluids you had during labor. Make sure you drink lotsa water (good for nursing, too) & keep your feet elevated as much as possible. I'm sure that's a hard thing since this baby is #3 but if you don't elevate your feet, the swelling will/could become painful. Congrats on the new baby & good luck!

Hi E.,
I would be very cautious of post-partum, swelling. After having my second son via c-section, I developed some very serious swelling. At first I laughed it off. I even took pictures of my feet hands and ankles because I could not believe they could swell to that size. After about a week i started having trouble catching my breath. I called my OB who then refered me to my regular doctor. They took one look at me and sent me to the ER for a chest xray. I was diagnosed with PostPartum Cardiac Myopathy. This is basically too much fluid around your heart. Normally your body would be able to get rid of it naturally, but mine did not. I was admitted to the hospital in heart failure and had to stay for about 5 days.
I am not trying to scare you, but something simple like swelling can turn into something way more serious. I had to stop breastfeeding because the medication I was on was not ggod for the baby. I am not sure if mine situation was related to having the c-section, but it did not happen with my first c-section. So my advice to you is call your OB or your regular doctor as soon as possible.
I wish you all the best!

HI! Congratulations on your new baby. I had the same thing happen after my 2nd baby. I was told it was a reaction to the epidural. I just kept putting my feet up whenever possible. Also, it sounds gross, but go to the bathroom as often as you can to get rid of extra fluid. After about 2 weeks, it should go away.

I had swelling for about 2 weeks after I had my son (now 10 weeks old). My feet and ankles were so swollen I couldn't even get my shoes on. Don't worry...my doctor told me the swelling is normal from the fluids givin at delivery and will re-absorb back into your body. I just went on with my daily activites in flip flops...Hope this helps!!!

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