Facial swelling and puffiness is one of those unpopular but common side effects of pregnancy.


Now, to be clear, I’m not talking about sudden facial swelling accompanied by severe headache, nausea and blurred vision, which if you’re experiencing you should immediately seek medical attention as this may be a sign of pregnancy-induced hypertension or preeclampsia.



I’m talking about the big nose, big cheek, and big lip (although in the present beauty culture this doesn’t like such a bad thing) type “side-effects” of pregnancy usually the consequence of water retention in the face.


I don’t know about you, but this is probably the biggest downside of pregnancy for me, and I was reminded of how much pregnancy causes my face to puff up when a friend made a note that that was how she knew I was expecting.

Yea, that definitely spiked my insecurity levels.


Now some of that pregnancy puffiness really does depend on genetics and hormones, BUT most of it doesn’t.

Your lifestyle choices play an enormous role in how much water your face retains.

Additionally, there are actually remedies you can include in your daily face ritual that can also help to reduce all that inflammation.


I honestly learned SO MUCH doing the research for this topic and I couldn’t help but feel the itch to share it because I know that this has to be something that bothers other pregnant mommas out there!

So if you’re here, I’m guessing you, like me, want to do something about it… because we deserve cute pregnancy pictures too!


Pin This Post for Later!

Reduce Facial Swelling

Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links to products that I have used and enjoyed. These are for your convenience. I do receive compensation without any increase to your own price.

Related Post (CLICK HERE)


1. Apply a Cold Face Mask in the Morning

815X5JgfWlL._SL1500_ Via Amazon

Cold therapy through compressions helps to reduce inflammation (like that caused by excessive salt consumption) and swelling.

Therefore, by applying a cold pack to your face in the morning you could actually reduce some of that undesirable swelling in your face if it is due to inflammation.

Just make sure that you are not ever putting ice directly on your skin!


Gel face masks are perfect for this in that they could easily be frozen and used as cold packs that could be directly placed on your face, since there is a barrier between the ice and your skin (still use caution and make sure that the pack isn’t too cold when placing on the delicate skin on your face), and they are reusable!

Just place the gel pack in the freezer overnight, and use it for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time when you wake up as part of your morning cleansing routine.


I purchased mine from Amazon and it is extremely useful compared to just placing a cold towel/rag over your face!


Tips for Avoiding Facial Swelling Due to Inflammation

  • Don’t Leave Makeup on Overnight

Leaving your makeup on overnight can cause your skin to become inflamed, and this inflammation can, in turn, contribute to facial swelling in the morning.

If you want to avoid the puffiness, be sure to remove all of your make up and thoroughly cleanse before going to bed.


  • Take a Cold Shower OR Wash Your Face With Cold Water in the Morning


If you’re looking to freshen up your morning skin (and improve your overall health!), then cold showers are your best friend.

Cold showers not only help to reduce facial swelling but they also promote fat loss, boost your immunity, and improve your circulation, among others (10)!


2. OR First Apply a Warm Compress to Promote Fluid Movement

Using Microwave Oven

Oftentimes the appearance of a swollen face during pregnancy isn’t only a consequence of inflammation.

Many times the inhibited movement of water and overall water retention and buildup within areas like the nose, cheeks, and lips also contributes to puffiness.


If you notice that cold packs don’t make much of a difference for you when it comes to reducing the swelling, try first warming up the gel mask or a wet towel instead and laying it on your face for about 5-10 minutes to promote the movement of fluid in your face (11).


Watch the temperature of the towel or mask and make sure that they are lukewarm especially being careful with the delicate areas surrounding your eyes.

Then, be sure to follow up with a cold compress for 10-15 minutes for inflammation reduction after for the best results!


3. Avoid Hot Showers and Baths


With that said, although a light warm compress can help to reduce swelling by promoting fluid circulation, anything warmer to hot can actually make it worse.


Heat promotes water retention, so activities like hot showers and baths and even staying out in the outdoor heat for too long can cause excess fluid to move from your blood to your tissues (especially extremities if you’re standing or sitting for too long) and contribute to unwanted swelling.


Therefore, avoid taking hot showers and baths especially before bed since you will be lying down and fluid will have a higher likelihood of moving and concentrating around your face.


4. Elevate Your Head When You Sleep

Gravity plays a big role when it comes to swelling.

If you notice that you have a puffier face in the morning than throughout the day then you might want to consider elevating your head with bigger/more pillows while you sleep.


If you’re not a big pillow sleeper is to just propping up the front legs at the head of your bed on wooden blocks so as to keep your bed slightly elevated at all times, whether you’re sleeping on a pillow or not.

That way you don’t have to think too much about how you sleep, your head is always slightly higher than the rest of your body.


Other Great Suggestions for Sleep to Prevent Puffiness and Swelling

  • Sleep On Your Left Side


Sleeping on Left Side

Via PharMeDoc

You should already be doing if you are past 20 weeks, but if you’re less than 20 weeks pregnant then try not to sleep on your belly as this also contributes to fluid accumulation in the face and opt for sleeping on your back instead (7).


Now if you over 20 weeks then sleeping on your left side is essential to reducing edema, especially in your lower extremities, since it puts less pressure on your inferior vena cava (7).

For me, swollen feet meant swollen hands and face, so this is also important to reducing that morning puffiness.


I always had a hard time, though, sleeping on my side, especially towards the end of my pregnancy, and I would oftentimes end up not sleeping on a pillow at all just to get into a semi-comfortable position.

What really changed things for me was sleeping with a pregnancy pillow.


Although it is bulky, it allows you to sleep better by making it easy to get into a comfortable position.

You’re essentially hugging the pillow which removes pressure off of your pelvis, for one, and also makes it easier to sleep slightly elevated if you rest your head on the pillow as well.

I would say it is the pregnant woman’s solution to all things pregnancy sleep problems!


  • Maintain a Cool Temperature in Your Room



Aim for a temperature between 60 to 75°F in your room to prevent temperature-induced pregnancy edema.

Another great option, if you don’t want to keep the AC or even a fan running all night is to open some windows and create a natural draft to get the air circulating in the room.


  • Use Cotton Bedding



Cotton is breathable which means that it also helps to prevent overheating throughout the night.

And my personal favorite is the fact that you aren’t tossing and turning all night due to it being too hot under the sheets or too cold out, either, so you sleep better too!


5. Use Cucumber Slices or Tea Bags


If your facial swelling is primarily centered around your eyes, cucumbers or tea bags work really well.

Both have astringent or constricting properties on blood vessels and thus they tighten the skin cells in the area where placed, so you could actually use them anywhere you’d like some extra tightening (12)!

If you’re gonna go with the tea bags, make sure that the tea is caffeinated or else you won’t get the same effect (12).


How it works is that you just lie down and place the cucumber slices or moistened tea bags under your eyes, and/or any other area you’re targetting, for about 10 minutes (7).

The best time to do this would probably be early morning, as you would with the cold face mask.


Make sure that your cucumber slices are cold before placing them over your eyes, for the best results!


You can also buy eye mask patches specifically for reducing puffy eyes.

They are usually loaded with even more antioxidants and are just as, if not more, potent than if you were to just use cucumbers.



6. Massage Your Face to Drain Your Lymph Nodes


Swelling, puffiness, and inflammation that is centered around your face is very much connected with the health and functioning of your lymphatic system.


Your lymphatic system works sort of like your circulatory system, except that instead of blood it circulates an infection-fighting fluid called “lymph” throughout your tissues (13).

Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump and instead depends on muscle contraction for fluid transport (14).


As you can imagine, our facial muscles don’t do all that much contracting throughout the day and this can lead to the congestion of the lymph nodes in those areas.


The consequences usually seen are swelling and puffiness along with dry and dull skin and even acne due to clogged pores (15)!


With pregnancy, these issues are exacerbated due to hormones, increased water and salt retention, and changes in circulation (16).

This is why many resort to manual draining, which has been proven to work very well during pregnancy (16), in order to relieve the congestion faster.


Now before we dive into the massage, I must clarify that although leg massages have been proven safe and effective during pregnancy and as a treatment against swelling, respectively, face massages have not been tested as rigorously.

That means that although some women have done them without issue (17), there are warnings that women who are in their first trimester and/or who have a history of miscarriage or complicated pregnancies SHOULD NOT try lymphatic facial massages (18), especially if you haven’t done one before.


All other pregnant women should be wary of the risks and ask their doctor before trying anything.

My doctor could not recommend the massage, letting me know that the biggest reason was due to lack of study and not necessarily that it was unsafe, so take caution.


With that said, as I mentioned earlier, some of these massages have been performed by pregnant women without issue and with promising results (17).

The type that I will be primarily focusing on in this section will be jade rolling lymphatic massages since they are the most common and least invasive.


During Pregnancy

Gentle, stimulating facial massaging can be something worth implementing during pregnancy and they are actually recommended by celebrity facialists to their pregnant A-list clients (17).

The easiest way to start including lymphatic drainage massages in your facial regime is by jade rolling.


You will still need a serum as the roller will help work it into your skin for best hydrating results, and you will, of course, need the jade roller.

Here is a popular jade roller from Amazon and here you will find a pregnancy-safe serum.


After you have cleansed your face and applied a pregnancy-safe toner and serum, use the jade roller to gently massage your face by starting from the center of your face and rolling outward to the corners of your face as you make your way down from your forehead towards your clavicle.

Do one side at a time.


Here is a sample illustration of one way you can go about doing this.


Via Shutterstock

You can also see a great video example of this from Province Apothecary HERE.


After you have done this, whether it be in the morning or in the evening, you would then just apply your pregnancy-safe moisturizer and whatever else you might need for the rest of the day/night (like a pregnancy-safe spot treatment for all that hormonal acne).

It’s that simple!

But don’t overlook it because it can really help to improve your skin a lot, not to mention reduce that unwanted swelling!


As a side tip, be sure to always cleanse your jade roller and keep in in a clean and dry environment to prevent unwanted breakouts!



After Pregnancy

If lymphatic massaging is something you want to really want to take seriously postpartum as part of your skincare routine because let’s face it who doesn’t want to have incredible skin, reduce puffiness, and diminish the effects of aging, then here are some great resources for lymphatic facial massages that are recommended for when not pregnant.

Although the best way you can go about manually draining your lymph nodes would be going to an aesthetician or a dermatologist and getting a professional massage, doing it yourself can also be quite effective.


The first is the Lymphatic Drainage Facial.

This is an aesthetician guided facial I found on the Martha Stewart website and it is one of the simplest and most affordable daily regimes that you can follow to stimulate and drain your lymph nodes.

All you need is a serum, in addition to the massages themselves, which will make them more effective and gentler on the skin itself.


The other is called the Natural Facelift Ritual.

This is a product based lymphatic draining facial treatment that is actually part of a three-step skincare routine.

What I love about it is that it has instructional videos and detailed posters that make it so much easier to follow and implement.


With that said, the cost of the entire program can rack up, but it may well be worth the investment if this is something you are willing to take seriously.


Just be sure to read the ‘Massage With Care’ warning disclosure in the right column before attempting at the facelift.


Via ProvinceApothecary


7. Try Facial Exercises

Face Exercises.jpg

Another way to stimulate and help drain your facial lymph nodes is by doing daily facial exercises.

As mentioned in the previous section, muscle contraction is the only way that lymph is transported throughout our body (14), so since we don’t exercise our face a lot naturally throughout the day, including exercises geared at stimulating those facial muscles into your daily routine can also yield promising, ‘de-puffing’ results!

Another reason why facial exercises are so awesome is that they could be just as powerful as the massages with less worry since you are just contracting your facial muscles instead of utilizing forms of acupuncture.

Here are some exercises you can try (19):

Brow Lifter (19)

We start at the top of your face by first working out your forehead muscles.

1. Get your fingers into proper position by forming the peace sign.

2.  Then, place your index and middle fingernails over each of your eyebrows.

3. Gently pull down on your brows with your fingernails.

4. For the exercise, push your brows up against the pull for about 10 reps.

5. Do about 3-6 sets (resting halfway through) of these each day.


Eye Squeezes (19)

This exercise will focus to work the muscles surrounding your eyes, perfect for reducing any puffiness that might develop there!

1. Start by shaping your mouth into a tight “oh” and then pulling your lips down, still keeping that shape. For added muscle stimulating and toning, trying also sucking in your cheeks.

2. Then, pull your mouth to one side of your face.

3. Squeeze the eye on that same side in a pulsing rhythm, a second for each squeeze, for about 10 seconds/reps.

4. Switch and do the same on the other side of your face.

5. Do about 3-6 sets (resting halfway through) of these each day.


Lip Pursers (19)

These exercises will target the muscles all around the mouth.

1. Purse your lips as if you’re doing very pronounced duck lips.

2. Then, say “OO, EE”, making exaggerated movements with each vowel. Do this for about 10 times.

3. Similarly, say “OO, AA” for about 10 reps.

4. Do about 3 sets of each of these a day.


Cheek Stretches (19)

Although these are called cheek stretchers, they actually also target the muscles along your entire jawline, in addition to stretching/stimulating your cheek muscles.

1. Start by placing your index fingers lengthwise under your eyes and across the upper portion of your cheekbones.

2. Then, position your mouth into a wide and open smile and curl your bottom lips over your teeth as best as you can.

3. Tighten and then relax this position for about 30 reps.

4. Repeat this exercise each day.


8. Drink Watermelon Juice


Not only is watermelon a very hydrating fruit, but it’s also rich in Vitamin C which helps in reducing swelling and puffiness (20).

You could either choose to eat or drink your chilled watermelon, whichever you prefer.


As with most of these anti-swelling remedies, the best time for consuming your watermelon would be in the morning as it also works to give you a refreshing energy boost to start your day (20)!


You can find watermelon juice in most grocery stores but for the most effective results, I would recommend opting for making your own juice.

It’s super simple and you will also avoid unnecessary sugars, which we will soon read also contribute to facial swelling!


All you do is cut the chilled fruit into cubes and throw it into your blender (these hand-held ones are awesome and portable!).

Once it’s well blended, just strain it!

You can also add other Vitamin C rich fruits like lemons or kiwis for an added boost!


9. Avoid Coffee


We have been talking a lot about the positive effects of hydration against swelling, so as you can imagine, anything that causes you to lose too much water should probably be avoided.

One of the biggest culprits of water loss is coffee!


I’m sure some of you will point out that diuretics (drugs or foods that help your body pass urine) are actually helpful in reducing swelling during pregnancy and I will further cover this in the next section, however, coffee, though a natural diuretic, also contains caffeine which actually contributes to increased water retention (5).


Now I know what you’re thinking, aren’t I supposed to avoid coffee already while pregnant?

Well, actually, you could still drink up to 12 oz a day safely even while pregnant, but that doesn’t mean you should (21)!


If puffiness and swelling is something you are battling, then kicking the coffee addiction completely might be your best option.

Other foods that contain caffeine, like certain teas and many sodas, should also be avoided.


10. Eat Other Natural Diuretics


Natural diuretics help your kidneys with fluid excretion which is a good thing when it comes to swelling due to water retention.

And while coffee is not recommended, though it is a natural diuretic, due to its increased ability to cause dehydration and water retention, other natural diuretics that offer more nutritional benefits can actually help to reduce pregnancy swelling.

These include, but aren’t limited to, asparagus, celery, garlic, parsley, beets, ginger, and brussel sprouts (22).


So, my point is that most diuretics are actually helpful in reducing pregnancy swelling, just so long as you maintain proper hydration.


11. Make a Turmeric Facemask


Although the consumption of turmeric powder is usually advised against during pregnancy, applying it topically as a facemask has plenty of benefits for the expecting momma experiencing facial puffiness.

The reason for this is because turmeric contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components (23).


Now as with anything you would try using on your skin, be sure to first test some of the paste on your forearm and checking for a reaction between 24 to 48 hours BEFORE you try it on your face (23).



Via Coyo

If you’re all good to go, then you can make your paste by just adding water to the turmeric to get an even consistency and then applying it to your face, making sure to avoid getting any into your eyes.

Keep the mask on for about 10 minutes before washing it off.

Once you have rinsed it off, you can put on a cold towel over your face to furthermore help to reduce puffiness (24).

This is definitely something you can incorporate into a morning or nighttime routine two to three times a week to help reduce any facial inflammation.


I will add that turmeric is also extremely beneficial against hyperpigmentation, acne scars, breakouts, skin irritation, and even wrinkles (25)!

So, your skin would be benefitting a lot more from the facemask than just in the area of swelling and puffiness!


12. Drink Lots of Water!

Via Giphy

Keeping hydrated is a sure way to reduce water retention in your face.

When your body isn’t supplied enough water, it holds on to what it can which leads to swelling.


Avoid this by making sure to drink at least 8-10 cups of water a day.


Remember, if you are thirsty then that means you’re not drinking enough.

You and your growing baby need hydration for development, and your body will improvise and swell when its needs aren’t met.


Tips For Staying Hydrated

  • Use a Reference


Via Giphy


If you’re having a tough time keeping track of your daily water intake, try using a bottle that has given volume capacity.

I drink my water from my 32 oz hydro flask that way I know that if I finish drinking all the water in it, I am halfway through my daily quota.


  • Get an App


Another way to keep track of your daily water intake is getting an app that helps you keep track of it!

You could either get an app that only monitors your water intake (benefits are that you could set notifications to remind you) or you could use a  pregnancy app like OviaPregnancy which already includes a Health Tracker feature that allows you to keep track of how much cups you consume on a daily basis along with the food you eat!


  • Drink a Cup Before Every Meal

Drinking a cup of water before every meal could also help you keep up with your water quota since you really don’t have to think too much about it.


If you have three meals each day, you would have already taken care of almost half of your daily water quota even before you start eating.

The other five servings could be realistically spread out throughout the rest of your day, and you might not even have to think twice about it!


Also, this is a great habit to keep since drinking a cup of water before you eat a meal can help prevent overeating and unnecessary weight gain!


  • Alternative Hydration

It’s is super important to note that your daily water quota also includes any soups, fruits, and vegetables that you may consume throughout your day.

Examples of water-rich fruits include watermelons, strawberries, tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, and peaches (1).

Examples of water-rich vegetables include cucumbers, lettuce, celery, zucchini, cauliflower, and cabbage (1).

So, as long as you’re eating healthy servings of these, you’re good to go!


13. Avoid Salty Foods


Via GettyImages//IGORDUTINA

It’s probably not effective to tell a pregnant woman to not eat salty foods because, well, cravings get the best of us during this season.


The problem is that salt contributes to inflammation, puffiness, and water retention.

The more salt you consume, the more water is then retained by your body in order to maintain the tonicity (fancy word for the solute/salt to water content) of your body’s cells.


If you notice that your body is notably swelling, steer clear of oversalted foods.

This also means that you should watch how much you salt your foods when cooking!


Tips on How to Watch Salt Intake

  • Know What You’re Really Craving


Oftentimes our cravings actually signal mineral and vitamin deficiencies.

A craving for salty foods means that your body is lacking trace minerals like zinc, calcium, and magnesium (2).

A great way to combat this is remembering to take a RAW high-quality prenatal vitamin daily.

Including leafy greens in your diet can also boost your trace mineral count!


  • Make Sure You’re Hydrated

This is the reason why dehydration leads to swelling.


Salt and water go hand in hand when it comes to how your body functions.

You will actually crave salt when you’re dehydrated since salt helps to maintain the electrolytes found in your body which in turn allow your tissues to better retain that much-needed water.

However, excess salt will actually contribute to the swelling of those tissues, so drink up to avoid the craving and the swelling (2)!


  • Watch Your Salting Habits

Your salt cravings also go hand in hand with your salting habits.

If you have a habit of oversalting your food, then your taste preference will be relative to that, meaning anything salted less will seem bland.


Change your taste preferences by cutting the salt.

Your food may seem bland in the beginning, but after some time your taste buds will grow to adjust to a new salt tolerance.


  • Watch What You Eat

A good fact to remember is that the recommended salt intake for an adult is about 1500 mg (3).

Get into the habit of reading labels.

More specifically, watch out for the association between salt content and serving size.


Many processed foods contain LOADS of extra salt since, due to preservatives, more salt is needed to maintain notable flavor.

Big salty culprits include dressings, dips, sauces, canned foods, and chips, among others.


Opt for reduced sodium options when available, if possible, make your own versions at home, or avoid these altogether by opting for healthier alternatives instead.

Also, AVOID eating anything salty or processed before bed as this is another reason for facial swelling particularly in the morning!


  • Try Healthier Alternatives

Look for healthier alternatives to the salty foods that you crave.

Some great alternative options include lightly salted avocado toast, unsalted trail mix, olives (my go-to), and fruits and vegetables.


And if salad dressings are accounting for the bulk of your salt intake, just make your own!

My favorite simple DIY dressings include EVOO, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.


14. Eat Potassium-Rich Foods


Via Healthline

Potassium acts reciprocally to sodium when it comes to swelling.

Eating a diet higher in potassium reduces tissue swelling by balancing electrolyte concentrations outside of the cells and removing the need for water to be retained.

Some foods found in this category include bananas, oranges, avocadoes, cooked broccoli, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and peas (4).


On the list is also found certain fish like tuna and halibut (be sure to watch your fish intake for mercury levels), certain legumes like pinto beans and lentils, and certain grains like brown rice and whole-wheat bread (4).


star Tip!

Since potassium and salt work inversely, think potassium-rich when you are craving a high-salt food.

For example, when you want to grab some potato chips, opting for oven-baked lightly salted sweet potato fries instead already gives you a better potassium-to-sodium ratio.


If you are looking to monitor your consumption of potassium you should actually be able to find the potassium content on the nutritional labels of the foods you buy.

The recommended daily minimum for potassium is about 4700 mg (4).


As with anything, though, be sure to consume these in reasonable amounts, anything in excess is never a good thing.

However, it should be noted that most people don’t actually reach that quota, so it’s rare to “overconsume” potassium.


15. Eat a Balanced Diet

Via Giphy

We’ve gone over the balance of water, salt, and potassium and the roles that those play in swelling, but it’s also important to note that eating an overall balanced diet actually goes a long way in preventing unwanted puffiness as well.

Since this tip could seem redundant, considering we have already talked about what you should and shouldn’t eat in the first three tips, I’ll keep it brief.


Here are some things you should take care to avoid if you would like to prevent general unwanted water retention (of which the face is a major component) during pregnancy:


  • Limit Your Intake of Sugars and Starches

Like salt, glucose has been known to contribute to water retention and edema, so you should take care to watch how much sugary foods you consume (5).

Try your best to mainly stick to natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables as you meet your daily recommended sugar quota of no more than 25 grams (about 6 teaspoons) of added sugar a day (6).


  • Avoid Processed and High-Fat Foods

We mentioned the negative implications of processed foods due to high salt content, but another factor that makes these bad boys so bad when it comes to swelling and edema is their high trans fat content (5).

A good rule of thumb is to stick to foods with ingredient labels that have 5 items or less (6)!


Also, try to meal plan weekly to avoid those high-fat fast-food runs, those calories really do rack up quickly!


Now, here are foods that you should try to consume for maximum benefits during pregnancy:

  • Opt for Lean Meats and Other High Protein Foods

I didn’t know this, but protein actually helps to balance your body’s fluids (5)!

Your best source of protein during pregnancy are lean meats like chicken and turkey, but low-mercury fish, eggs, and beans are also great high-protein options.


  • Get a Healthy Serving of Fiber-Rich Foods

A daily healthy serving of fiber (20 to 25 mg) keeps your bowels moving which helps to flush out any excess salt and water from your body (7).

Foods like legumes, apples, pears, zucchini, carrots, oats, and whole wheat are great sources of fiber during pregnancy (7).


  • Eat 10 Servings of Fruit and Vegetables Daily!

Although this is not necessarily pregnancy nor swelling specific (though it still helps to prevent overall swelling), this will probably be the best food advice I will probably ever give you, so I am so glad that you are actually making an effort of reading this point because it will literally CHANGE YOUR LIFE!


Did you know that a daily consumption of 10 servings of fruits and vegetables (about 800 g) can significantly reduce your chances of cancer, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and premature death (8)?!

It does sound like a lot, but putting in a little effort at the beginning of your week to meal plan and then doing the same by chopping and prepping your veggies and fruits after grocery trips can make it a whole lot easier and so worth it!


It’s important to note that you should refrain from eating more than 300 extra calories (based on actual energy requirements) throughout your second and third trimesters (9).

I wrote an entire article on How to Eat to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding Without Losing Your Supply, and although it primarily focuses on your postpartum diet, it contains a lot of valuable and relevant information about eating 300 calories as that is the extra calorie count that is recommended while breastfeeding as well.


16. Be Active


Exercise plays a huge role in promoting optimal body function.


When talking about facial swelling and puffiness, specifically, cardiovascular exercise helps to keep your circulation and bowels moving which helps your body flush out excess salt and water (7).

Not exercising enough can actually cause fluid buildup, which is why sitting for long periods of time also causes swelling.


It is recommended that pregnant women get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, but if you weren’t regularly exercising before you could instead start at 10 minutes a day and work your way up to 30 minutes (26).


The best indicator for whether or not you are pushing yourself too hard is seeing if you could still speak normally while working out, if not then you might want to tone it down a bit (26).

Also, avoid being up on your feet for long periods of time as this can actually make your swelling worse.


Now, before you begin any type of exercising, make sure that you get the OK from your doctor as certain pregnancy complications might be contra indicators for exercise during pregnancy (preeclampsia is one of them!) (26).


Once you get your doctor’s approval, here are some exercises you could try that help to reduce swelling:

  • Walking or Jogging


Any type of cardio, as mentioned earlier, is incredibly beneficial to reducing swelling due to salt and water retention.

Just make sure to pace yourself accordingly and always stretch before attempting to do anything.

Also, stay hydrated to prevent overheating and dehydration and avoid exercising in general when it is too hot outdoors!


  • Swimming


Water pressure has been shown to be primarily effective against foot and ankle swelling, however, just a general swim can help you cool down and relax to help to reduce any swelling that you might experience during pregnancy (7).

Swimming, as a type of cardio, also helps promote the circulation of fluids in your body, thus reducing unwanted edema and puffiness (7).


  • Bicycling

Via GettyImages//FatCamera

This cardiovascular exercise is awesome in that it gives you a break from your feet while still providing the same great benefits of exercise against swelling.

And the best part is that you can have this double up as your daily dose of vitamin D while enjoying the outdoors!



Fifteen tips means that you have fifteen ways you can start decreasing the puffiness and swelling of your face today.

Which means that there is something you can actually do about it!


I don’t know about you, but that is a huge relief for me!

I want all of that pregnancy glow (haha)!


No, but in all seriousness, what I learned writing this article was that facial swelling has a lot to do with my own lifestyle choices.

Choices that aren’t exactly the healthiest for me nor for the little baby boy growing in my womb.

So, honestly, maybe those unwanted symptoms are actually warning signs that we need to fix something about ourselves?


Of course, not all the tips imply a need to change your lifestyle, but they definitely inspire a desire to take better care of your face, at least for me!

There are many things I am planning on continuing doing even when I’m not pregnant for sure.


Don’t Forget to Share!

Anywho, I hope you learned as much as I did, and if so, pass it on to another momma.

Motherhood is a community where we support one another and I am so honored to contribute (even if it is in these small ways).


Knowledge is indispensable and although ignorance is bliss, it’s consequences aren’t.


Also, you can always subscribe to my email list to get updates on new posts.

Or better yet, follow me on Pinterest and you won’t ever miss a thing!


Until next time mommas!


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply