While some women might be lucky enough to receive Meghan Markle's pregnancy glow or Kate Middleton's luscious pregnancy locks, for others being an expectant mama can bring with it some not-so glamorous side-effects - like swelling.
That's precisely what Jessica Simpson is experiencing as she prepares to welcome baby number three. Already mum to Maxwell Drew, 6, and son Ace Knute, 5, the 38-year-old shared a photo of her oh-so-swollen foot with her four million Instagram followers last week.
"Any remedies?" she asked. "Help?!!!"
While some of Simpson's followers suggested elevating her feet and using compression socks, many advised her to consult her doctor immediately, noting that while some gradual swelling during pregnancy is normal, it could also be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
"Mine looked just like that at 29 weeks," one commenter wrote. "I got put in the hospital for severe pre-eclampsia and stayed for a whole month, the worst thing ever. The only cure was to have the baby so I had him at 34 weeks ... please be careful."
"Definitely raise those feet as high as you can!" wrote another. "Get checked for pre-eclampsia! It's dangerous for you and your baby. I had it twice and it got scary."
"This happened to me," one woman told Simpson. "I ended up on bed rest at 36 weeks. "My doc said to sleep on my left side to promote better circulation and wear compression socks. Drink lots of water keep your feet above your heart. Swimming will also help fluid retention."
But while no one but Simpson's doctor can determine whether or not her swelling is normal or cause for concern, her post has highlighted a dangerous complication of pregnancy that mums should be aware of.
Australian College of Midwives (ACM) Spokesperson Julie Fleet says that while swelling is not necessarily a clinical indicator of any condition, "it warrants investigation depending on other symptoms and clinical history or if a woman is concerned about it."
According to The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG),pre-eclampsia typically begins after 20 weeks gestation and usually takes the form of high blood pressure and abnormal kidney function. It is usually detected during a routine antenatal appointment and affects about 3–4 per cent of all pregnant women in Australia and New Zealand.
Women with severe pre-eclampsia will have high blood pressure and may experience:
- Sudden swelling of the face, hands or feet
- Headache that doesn't go away with simple painkillers
- Problems with vision, such as blurring, flashes of light and dots before the eyes
- Severe pain just below the ribs
- Heartburn that doesn't go away with antacids
- Generally feeling very unwell
If you experience any of these symptoms you must contact your doctor, midwife or hospital.
Find more information here