I vaguely remember being very swollen during my last pregnancy. I retained a lot of fluid but I thought more so towards the last month of my pregnancy and especially so in the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy. I have always been one of those people who suffered water retention even flying medium haul (7-8 hour flights) and it would then take me about 3 to 4 days to shed the fliud from my system! Night 1, a continuous incessant need to visit the toilet! Days 2 and 3, a continuous and incessant need to go to the toilet all day long! Day 4, system starts to normalise. So, I am not at all surprised that I have started looking swollen again this pregnancy, however I am surprised that it has started happening at 30 weeks!!! I am particularly peeved as we deliberately flew over to Western Australia for a maternity/family photo shoot and by the time I got off the plane after a short 4 hour flight, my face had doubled in size! I was like, seriously?! Couldn’t this have waited till after the photo shoot since this will be a very rare occasion that hubby, Kalani and will actually be in the same photo together as a family?!
What to do, what to do? I had 3 days before the shoot. How do I get this water retention down?! I don’t want the photographer to have to spend hours photoshopping my fluid retained face down, if at all possible! Plus I don’t want to look like I’ve been hit by an oil tanker on the day of my photoshoot. I’ve never been good at contouring and all that jazz so that was out of the question as a remedy!
Logically, I drank a whole heap of water, more than I usually would, but also keeping in mind that we were driving from Perth to Margaret River, a 3 hour drive where I may or may not find a loo when I absolutely needed to! It was all a timing issue that had to be accurately estimated as we all know, when a pregnant woman has to go, a pregnant woman has to go! There was no two ways about that! The other thing I learnt was that my beloved dandelion tea also was a great natural remedy for reducing water retention and bloating. Whilst I used to drink it a couple of times daily, I now only drink it once a day after a meal. Dandelion tea has a beautiful nutty flavour for those who haven’t tried it. It is great for digestion, metabolism and as I’ve learnt very recently, a great remedy for alleviating water retention! I leave my tea bag in but it does get quite strong and super nutty so if you don’t like drinking strong tea, leave to steep for a couple of minutes before removing tea bag. I need to fine print this in the society that I reside so … please check with your doc before consuming dandelion tea during pregnancy. So between drinking a whole heap of water and having dandelion tea, I managed to get my fingers looking semi normal rather than turning an angrier shade of purple should I have kept my rings on for any longer. In addition to drinking a tonne of fluids, foods high in magnesium and potassium such as nuts, dark chocolate (woo hoo!), leafy greens, bananas and avocadoes for example are also helpful in alleviating fluid retention during pregnancy.
So between all of that and a wood fired donut or two 😬, I managed to look less puffy than I was when I got off the flight, so I can tell you it works … albeit slowly. Nontheless it still got me to feeling a lot more comfortable physically than feeling like I wasn’t able to bend my legs at all because it was packed full of fluid!
I hope this will help some of you should you be suffering fluid retention …
In my next blog post, I’ll actually put my photographer’s hat on and tell you why I decided to fly to Western Australia from Melbourne just to have my maternity/family photos done. The reasons behind choosing the photographer I did and hopefully some pics to share.
Love Like Laughter Black knit dress by Alice McCall