Swelling is a part of pregnancy that no one wants to deal with, but it’s normal. During pregnancy, you might even notice some facial swelling. Remember, if you find that your face is swelling, it can be expected and not an immediate reason to panic.

Having a swollen face during pregnancy isn’t unusual, but it’s important to note we aren’t talking about any sudden facial swelling. Most swelling happens gradually, over time, as your pregnancy progresses. If you have rapid swelling that comes with headaches, nausea, or other unappealing signs, make sure you talk to your doctor.

Instead, we’re talking about when your nose feels like it’s double the size that it once was. One day, you realize it’s happening – you officially have that pregnancy fat face your friends told you would happen, but you hoped it wouldn’t.

It can be a downfall of pregnancy, but you should know it’s normal. Here is what you should know about facial swelling during pregnancy.

What Causes Your Face to Swell?

hand swells in pregnancy

All pregnancy swelling is caused by the same problem – fluid retention. You might not realize that your body creates nearly 50% more blood and body fluids to meet the growing demands on your body as your baby grows and develops. Normal swelling is referred to as edema, and it can happen in your hands, face, legs, ankles, and feet.

Face swelling during pregnancy comes from several different factors working together. You might even notice some nose swelling during pregnancy, and here’s why!

A lot happens in your body during the first trimester, and your blood vessels start to expand as more blood is sent to your baby. That’s why you might notice face swelling in early pregnancy. Expanded blood vessels can also affect your sinuses and nasal passages, which can cause a stuffy nose.

Towards the end of your pregnancy, water retention happens in your face, which tends to cause your nose to swell more than normal. This is when women complain about having a wide nose during pregnancy.

If you have high blood pressure, it also can cause pregnancy facial swelling.

Other Factors That May Affect Swelling

While those are some of the causes of pregnancy swelling, other factors increase the risk that you’ll start to swell while pregnant, such as:

  • Heat
  • Standing for Long Periods
  • Too Much Activity
  • Low Potassium
  • Caffeine Consumption
  • High Amounts of Sodium

Will My Face Swelling Go Down After Pregnancy?

Yes, but it does take time. In the weeks following your birth, your body will gradually lose the extra fluid it created for pregnancy. Your body won’t produce as much blood, nor will you retain as much fluid.

How Much Swelling is Normal During Pregnancy?

You can’t limit what is normal because every woman is different and experiences pregnancy differently. What is a lot to someone else wouldn’t seem like much to another woman.

It’s normal for your shoes and socks to feel a bit tighter. Your rings might not fit or might feel tighter than average. If you shopped for hours, your ankles might swell. You might notice that your nose seems to be larger than before.

It’s not uncommon for you to have swelling in your lips or gums!

All of these examples are considered normal for pregnancy, especially if you’re in your third trimester. Technically, it can start at any time in pregnancy, but it’s most common as you near the end.

However, you need to pay close attention to any swelling you have because it can sign a dangerous pregnancy problem – preeclampsia. That can cause a lot of problems if you don’t fix the issue.

If you wake up and your face is suddenly really puffy, calling the doctor. He will want to make sure your blood pressure is normal. This is when you should be concerned about swelling!

How Can I Reduce Swelling in my Face During Pregnancy?

No one wants to deal with facial swelling, but luckily, there are some things you can do to reduce the swelling. Here are some suggestions.

Use a Cold Face Mask in the Morning

woman applies ice cube in face

If you have puffy eyes during pregnancy, a cold face mask can reduce inflammation and swelling. Each morning, apply a cold compress or mask to your face, and you’ll notice some of the undesirable swellings in your face.

A gel face mask works well for this because you can freeze them, but make sure you put a barrier between the gel pack and your skin. Keep it on your face for 10-15 minutes.

Take Your Makeup Off at Night

If you leave your makeup on your face overnight, it can cause your skin to become inflamed, contributing to facial swelling. Taking off your makeup before you go to sleep can help you avoid some of the annoying puffiness.

Try a Warm Compress

Inflammation isn’t the only cause of facial swelling. Water retention and inhibited water movement cause a buildup in your nose, cheeks, and lips. If you notice that using cold packs aren’t getting the results you hoped, try a warm compress instead.

Lay a warm, wet towel over your face for 5-10 minutes. It can help with lips swelling during pregnancy; it doesn’t take much to reduce lip swelling. Just make sure you use a lukewarm towel, not hot.

Elevate Your Head While Sleeping

Gravity plays a huge part when it comes to pregnancy swelling. If you notice that you have a puffy face or swollen eyes while pregnant in the morning, gravity isn’t your friend, but elevation can change that!

If you’re trying to figure out how to prevent nose swelling during pregnancy, the head elevation is the place to start. Try using either more pillows or bigger pillows when you sleep. Your goal is to make sure your head is always slightly higher than the rest of your body.

Avoid Too Much Coffee

Hydration is crucial during pregnancy, and you want to do anything you can to avoid losing too much water. Believe it or not, coffee is a massive culprit of water loss. It’s considered a diuretic, but caffeine contributes to increased water retention even though it’s natural.

Pregnant women can safely drink up to 12 ounces of coffee per day, but that doesn’t mean you should. If you’re having issues with swelling, it’s best to put down the coffee until things are under control.

Drink Plenty of Water

It seems counterproductive – you should drink more water to reduce water retention, but it’s true! When you don’t properly hydrate your body, your body hoards as much water as possible, leading to swelling.

So, it would be best if you drank 8-10 8 ounce glasses of water per day. If you feel thirsty, you’re not hydrated. Staying adequately hydrated is not only crucial for your body, but it’s also a necessity for amniotic fluid, which your baby needs. So, drink up!

Call Your Doctor If You Worry

Sometimes, you just need to call your doctor and receive reassurance that things are okay. If you feel concerned by the amount of swelling that you’re experiencing or have any accompanying signs, such as nausea or dizziness, you do need to contact your doctor. A quick trip can either calm your fears or set you on the right track towards healing.

Author

Hey, this is Linda. My biggest accomplishment in life is being a mother of four children. Their current ages range from almost ten years old down to 20 months old.I'm passionate about writing parenting articles because I understand so well all of the problems and trials you face as a parent. From breastfeeding woes to budgeting problems and behavior problems, along with everything in between, chances are I've faced it over the last ten years.

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