Post partum edema: how long it lasts and how to eliminate it

Post partum edema: how long it lasts and how to eliminate it
Fonte: shutterstock

Postpartum edema

What to expect after giving birth? How does the body change and what are the most common ailments and discomforts that may arise? We are certainly very focused on caring for the child, but we should always find time to dedicate to ourselves and our recovery. The body has done an enormous job, and has certainly suffered a real trauma from which it will have to recover with the right time and the right precautions. L'postpartum edema (swelling) it's very common after childbirth, either caesarean and natural, but what are the causes and how can we eliminate it?

In this article

Causes of postpartum edema

What are the causes of swelling after childbirth? In most cases it is a accumulation of fluids in some parts of the body. After giving birth the body will continue to retain water due to the increase in progesterone. It is therefore quite common to have swollen hands, feet and ankles, and edema can affect different areas of the body, including the arms or legs. It shouldn't last very long because as hormone levels stabilize, water retention begins to subside.

I typical symptoms of edema They include:

  • Swelling of the tissue directly under the skin, especially in the legs or arms
  • Tight or shiny skin
  • Orange peel skin (to do a test we press the finger on the skin for a few seconds and observe what happens: if a dimple remains for a few seconds, there is water retention!)
  • Increase in the size of the abdomen ‌

How long does postpartum swelling last?

Swelling usually gets worse within a week after childbirth e gradually improves over time, returning completely within a few weeks.

When to call the doctor?

Some signs should not be underestimated and it is important to call your doctor:

  • shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing and chest pain (these may be signs of pulmonary edema);
  • pain, redness, warmth or tenderness in the legs, especially in the calves (these could be signs of a deep vein thrombosis).

Call your doctor even if one leg is much swollen than the other, if you have pain or feel a particular hot area.

Read also: Swollen legs and feet in pregnancy

How to get rid of excess fluids after childbirth?

Let's see which are the most useful and effective natural remedies for postpartum swelling.

First let's give it time: as mentioned, our body has done a great job in these nine months, it has completely transformed to welcome the baby, nourish it, make it grow healthy and strong and finally to make it come to light. So we need to be grateful to him, heal him, rest and give him plenty of time to recover properly. Obviously there are some things we can do to help the convalescence phase, reduce minor ailments, including postpartum edema:

  • drink a lot: the body will be able more easily to expel excess fluids, that is, those that cause swelling;
  • walking and moving: it is important to take a walk every day to combat the stagnation of liquids, but be careful not to overdo it with physical activity and always ask your doctor what can be done and in what times;
  • eat foods rich in potassium such as bananas, potatoes, avocados and spinach;
  • reduce your intake of caffeine because it retains water and increases swelling;
  • hold i feet raised whenever possible;
  • to wear comfortable shoes and compression stockings;
  • avoid i savoury foods because sodium makes you retain more water;
  • To wear loose clothing;
  • plan a treatment of lymphatic drainage massages with an experienced operator.

When do you take your belly off after giving birth?

After giving birth, the belly takes some time to deflate, and in any case it changes appearance: it becomes softer and flaccid. They are needed at least 4 settimane before the uterus resumes its initial shape. From the first days after delivery, especially the cesarean, it is useful to wear one pancera: it serves, in fact, to restore the muscle-tendon-ligamentosis of the belly area, but also to maintain a correct posture and a very straight spine.


  • American Pregnancy Association


  • swelling
  • postpartum recovery
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