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Prenatal Care . .
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2. Normal Discomforts of Pregnancy
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e. Edema
1) Definition: Edema is swelling in the extremities, usually developing in the second and third trimesters.

2) Physiological basis

(a) Increased blood volume causes swelling of the extremities.   (b) The enlarged uterus causes impaired return circulation in the lower extremities.   (c) Increased hormones result in increased sodium and water retention. 3) Management (a) Have expectant mother's blood pressure checked to determine the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia.   (b) Expectant mother should avoid restrictive clothing.   (c) Whenever possible, elevate your legs above the level of the heart.   (d) Rest lying on your side to improve return circulation to the heart.   (e) Support hose will also help with edema.  
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(f) We advise drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water each day.
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4) Indicators to refer to your OB care provider: Increases in baseline blood pressure of more than 30 systolic or 15 diastolic and/or facial edema indicate potential preeclampsia.
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