New mum, Moana Hope has shared before and after images of her feet, showing the ravages that pregnancy fluid retention played on her poor tootsies.

Taking to her Instagram stories, the 34yo mum-of-two shared two very contrasting images. One depicts her very swollen, fluid filled feet in the late stages of her pregnancy, while another shows the fluid-free regular looking feet not even one week postpartum and the difference is astounding!

Moana Hope’s feet before and after is incredible!

The Survivor Allstar and her wife, model Isabella Carlstrom welcomed their new son on Sunday 26 June.

Ahi Joseph Carlstrom was born on 24 June 2022, weighing in at almost four kilos. Moana “endured 24 hours of labour” and said that it was the “hardest and most challenging thing I’d ever done in my life – both physically and emotionally”.

Should you worry if your feet swell up in pregnancy?

Some fluid retention and swelling is normal during pregnancy, especially during the last few months.

“Some swelling in pregnancy can be normal, there is extra fluid in the body which causes this,” says Midwife Marni Tuala. “Pitting oedema was once identified as a potential symptom of serious conditions of pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia, however recent practice is for clinicians commonly giving the advice to rest and elevate feet when swelling in the extremities is present.

“This type of swelling generally occurs at the middle to end of a day and will reduce overnight. As with anything, if a woman is concerned about herself or her baby we encourage her to seek medical advice.”

However, if you notice quite sudden swelling of the hands and face, or sudden excessive weight gain (due to fluid retention), that seems beyond normal, it’s a good idea to seek urgent investigation, as these may be symptoms of pre-eclampsia.

Complications from pre-eclampsia arise when the placenta releases a toxin into the mother’s bloodstream, damaging blood vessels and causing organ failure, and ultimately forcing an early delivery. Pre-eclampsia affects around one in every 20 pregnancies, and kills approximately 76,000 women a year.

Midwife Marni Tuala suggests resting and elevating those puffy feet.

Managing fluid retention in pregnancy

Oftentimes, severe swelling can become painful and make your skin tender. You may not be able to stop parts of your body from swelling, but you may be able to reduce the severity and find some comfort.

There are things you can do to help you stay comfortable when pregnancy swelling becomes a part of your life.

Increase your blood flow

Wear comfortable shoes and put your feet up above your hips as much as you can. Avoid standing for long periods without moving or crossing your legs, which can restrict your blood flow. Try to exercise regularly by walking or swimming. Immersion in water for 20 minutes daily can help decrease swelling.

Bonus tip: sleep on your left side, which will help blood return to the heart!

Avoid too much salt

Sodium causes your body to hold onto more fluid. Reduce how much salt, sugar and fat you consume. Cutting out pre-packaged, highly processed goods is a good start, as they are usually high in all three. This means no chips, lunch meats, canned foods, carbs or caffeine.

Consume foods that are natural diuretics

Foods that increase excretion of fluids through the kidneys are key. This includes asparagus, celery, artichoke, carrot, watermelon, cucumber, tomato, parsley, eggplant, cranberry juice, cabbage, apple cider vinegar, ginger, Brussels spout and lemon. Don’t forget to keep hydrated too! This will help your body to hoard less water.

Massage therapy

Massaging can return fluid to the general circulation, help blood flow back to the heart, and further aids excretion through the kidneys. Use a massage oil with a few drops of essential oil, as aromatherapy may help with swelling. Cypress oil is good for circulation, lavender and chamomile oil may ease discomfort and make you feel more relaxed.