The feeling of heavy legs it is a very common problem in pregnant women. But edema can also appear in the hands or face.
Edema during pregnancy
Edemas, particularly of the legs, are common during pregnancy, especially in the 3rd trimester. They can also manifest themselves at the level of face or hands. Localized on the legs, edema is usually bilateral. Most of the time, edema is benign and arises from a problem of water retention and physiological sodium.
“Mild edema is neither red nor hot and is usually bilateral. If your leg is swollen, red, hot, and sore, see your doctor right away“Warns Jessica Dahan Saal, head of the obstetrical gynecology department of the Pierre Rouques hospital in Paris.
– Lying on the left side of the body, your baby’s volume can no longer compress the vena cava. This promotes good blood circulation.
– Raising the legs when lying down promotes venous return.
– “Wear socks, or at least socks, of moderation is efficient “, assures the gynecologist.
– “the I swim and the to walk are sports activities suitable for pregnancy and which promote blood circulation“.
Why massage a pregnant woman?
In case of heavy legs or early symptoms of leg edema, the pregnant woman can ask her partner to do it massage the legs from the bottom up. Guaranteed results! They would also be belly drainage massages the prevention of stretch marks with the future mother.
On the other hand, massages in beauty salons are prohibited in the first trimester of pregnancy. In fact, at this moment, since the risk of miscarriage is important, we are not running the slightest risk.
Lymphatic drainage for a pregnant woman
Manual leg massage during pregnancy
Manual lymphatic drainage can also be performed with a masseur. It is a gentle massage, with superficial drainage movements. It aims to improve circulation, in particular of the lymph, and to reduce edema.
Is lymphatic drainage reimbursed?
The lymph is a liquid that irrigates the whole body. It allows to evacuate the cellular debris and to carry the white blood cells allowing the immune defense. the lymphedema corresponds to an accumulation of lymph in the tissues, just under the skin. This can be linked both to a very high production of lymph and to a lack of circulation in the lymphatic system. Lymphatic drainage can be repaid in this situation.
For example, during an operation to remove a tumor from the breast, it is sometimes required of the surgeon also remove the lymph nodes from the armpit. The consequence is a lack of lymphatic circulation in this region. Arm lymphedema can occur after surgery. After breast surgery, arm drainage is sometimes required.
In the context of pregnancy, lymphatic drainage is not a treatment, but a comfort treatment. It is not reimbursed by social security. “Lymphatic drainage to relieve pregnant women is not part of the current recommendations; however, it is clear that it can improve the well-being of some patients when combined with other methods“Says the gynecologist.
Who can perform lymphatic drainage?
Lymphatic drainage is performed by a physiotherapist.
Can lymphatic drainage be done after childbirth?
After giving birth, women should remember to think about themselves and take care of their bodies. The rehabilitation of the perineum, to be performed by a midwife or physiotherapist, is absolutely necessary (1 to 2 sessions per week). Executed shortly thereafter, the abdominal rehabilitation it is also appreciated after pregnancy. Rehabilitation sessions are reimbursed on medical prescription. On the other hand, there is no indication to perform lymphatic drainage immediately after delivery. Edema that may be present at the end of pregnancy disappears spontaneously after delivery.