Many women suffer from a puffy face during pregnancy. Normally we assume they’ve gained weight or are retaining excess water, since weight gain with pregnancy is normal and will often show itself in the face among other places. In fact, during the third trimester, most women wake up each morning with a swollen face. This is due to increased circulation, and is often not harmful. There are however, some causes of that need to be taken very seriously. Preeclampsia can cause a puffy face during pregnancy. This condition can be very dangerous, and if you suspect you may have it, a call to the doctor is recommended.

Characterized by edema (excess water retention), hypertension, protein in the urine (proteinuria), and sudden rapid weight gain, preeclampsia must be monitored closely. A swollen face, along with swollen hands, ankles and feet, is typical of edema. An easy test is to press in the tips your fingers and make an indention. If the flesh stays depressed longer than normal, it can be a sign of edema.

Treatment may include bed rest, elevation of legs, water increase, and avoiding salt. If these symptoms accompany mental confusion, headaches, or other neurological signs, get to your doctor or hospital right away. Dehydration can also cause a puffy face during pregnancy. When you don’t take in enough water, the body tries to retain the small amount it has. Therefore the blood vessels enlarge and boom! you end up with a swollen face.

Stay away from alcohol, caffeine, and excess sodium, and watch your urine color. If it’s too yellow, drink more water.

Lack of vitamin C and/or beta carotene are other causes of puffy face while pregnant.

Puffy face during pregnancy should be diagnosed with every possibility. Make sure you take pregnancy vitamin supplements (as recommended by your doctor), and eat foods rich in Vitamin C, and all other required vitamins and minerals.

Due to belly size, leg pain, and other conditions, women find it hard to sleep during the last stages of pregnancy. Alas, if you don’t get enough sleep, you may wake up with a swollen face. Lack of sleep is probably the most common cause of a puffy face during pregnancy. If you can’t get comfortable in bed, try a big comfy chair. If you can’t sleep at night, sleep during the day. If other children keep you up, ask a friend to babysit a few hours so you can get your needed rest.

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