Swelling After Epidural

Updated on February 14, 2009
J.B. asks from Atlanta, GA
8 answers

After both my deliveries that I had with an epidural, my feet, ankles & lower legs swelled hugely. The doctors said that 25% of women have this and that nothing would help it.. & in deed, nothing did help.. salt foot baths, drinking lots reflexology etc.. it lasts for 10-14 days. It's painful and feels like my skin is going to split. Is anyone out there an anesthesioligist (sp?) or married to one that might know how I can prevent this next time..

Many thanks

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So What Happened?

Okay.. I've read all the responses & I think I finally know why.. I have very low blood pressure (normally it's 82/62 - my Mum's the same) and my pressure tends to plummet after any operation... and unfortunately I've had about 10. The only diference is the epidural is the only one I swell with.... I tried to get to get an duretic before but they wouldn't give them to me and said I basically just have to ride it out. Next time I'm going to mention it and hopefully I might get a little less fluids. I mentioned it to an acupunturist who said that if I come from the hosital and get a treatment on my kidneys it'll help..

Anyway, thank you all. I have alittle more understanding now. :-) always a good thing

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

I never had an epidural? backbone fused, but I swelled up like a balloon after each of my 6 kids delivery. I couldn't even find shoes to fit my feet! It lasted about a month after I gave birth and was painful.

Some thingsI did was to watch my sodium and carbonation intake. Eat celery, its a natural diuretic and won't hurt nursing....and prop those legs up above your bladder and have your gusband rub your legs up towards your torso/ bladder to help get the fluid up and out.

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answers from Dallas on

Not have an epidural? Sorry but that made me laugh. If you have an allergic reaction to the epidural I doubt there is anything you can do. I had awful itching to the point that I tore my skin trying to scratch and didnt realize it until the next morning when I showered. I guess you should weigh the pain, would labor be worst than the swelling pain? Good luck.



answers from Wichita Falls on

If you're not nursing you might ask your doctor about prescribing lasix right after delivery - get ready to sweat and pee triple time, but it should help with the extra fluid.

Also eat protein like a sonofagun - low protein (and albumin) levels in the blood cause extra fluid to pool every where you don't want it.


answers from Orlando on

The other ladies are right, it is the IV fluid that makes you swell, not the epidural per say. If I remember correctly, the IV fluid is necessary to regulate blood pressure so it is just a necessary irritation in order to have a more comfortable delivery so basically there's no way around it. I had the swelling as well, I remember with my first ten years ago that I tried to go home with the same shoes I went to the hospital in, they were barely even on - LOL. With my twins three years ago, I bought flip flops a couple sizes bigger than my natural size and went home with porky toes :-)
It will be hard since you already have two but you really do need to just take it easy like the doctor suggests and your body will eventually rid itself of the extra fluid. Personally, I'd be careful with the "pee pills". Your body was created to be very smart about what it needs to do when it needs to do it. It will release the fluid in the time it naturally thinks is best. I only say this because my son was very sick back in Sept. and had to be filled with tons of fluid to keep his blood pressure up and when the doctors tried to remove to much of it too fast, his blood pressure would plummit and they'd have to stop or add more back. I know, different scenario, but I'd still be careful.



answers from Dallas on

how about skipping the epidural?



answers from Dallas on

I think the swelling is from the IV fluids, not the epi. I have heard about drinking parsley tea (but be carefull and talk to your Dr to make sure its ok for Bfing)

I had it too, it was absolutely horrible! I lost 5 Lbs immediately after giving birth to my dd (after gaining 50!) and then after all of my swelling and water retention went away i lost another 10lbs! Hope you feel better soon!



answers from Dallas on

Hi J.

I had the same problem after my second (16 years ago). Was told by my doctor it was because I was on my feet too much after having my son. He put me on bedrest for a week. That did help. Plenty of fluids and maybe a diuretic might help. Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

I swelled a lot also, w/ my 2nd. I was told it was the liquid in the IV that caused it. I didn't have it w/ my first. They were both c-sections. Maybe you can ask for not a lot of liquid.

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