I’m 39 weeks pregnant and I’m having really swollen feet and it hurts a lot. Also, I’m having back pain and stomachache. I also, would like to know after I guve birth how soon can I start exercising and what kind of exercise I could do?
Unfortunately, swollen feet, back pain and stomachaches are all normal during late pregnancy. Rarely, swollen feet can be a sign of preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition, and your care provider should be checking your urine every visit for the presence of protein, a sign that you may have this condition. Otherwise, the swelling is just the result of fluid accumulation in your tissues. Drinking lots of water, keeping your feet elevated and watching your salt and soda intake may help, and you’ll want to ditch any high heels for wide and comfortable slip-on shoes.
The back pain is probably from the pressures of the baby straining your muscles. It helps to change positions a lot. A pillow roll for your lower back can help with pain while you’re sitting and driving. At home, try watching tv or reading on an exercise ball to avoid back cramps from staying in one position.
Stomachaches are likely gas, for more on that click here.
When you can start exercising again after birth will depend on how well your body recovers from the ordeal: If you have a vaginal birth and don’t have any stitches, your care provider may give you the go-ahead in a couple of weeks. If you have an episiotomy, your obstetrician or midwife will probably advise you to wait six weeks, and if your have a cesarean, you may be told to avoid certain kinds of exercise for longer than that. Ask your care provider at your postpartum checkup when it’s safe for you to get moving, and what kind of exercise he or she recommends. For more on postpartum exercise, click here.