When living with a chronic medical condition, we learn to expect the need for special precautions in almost every situation; whether it’s traveling by plane, taking a dip in the hot tub, or getting a tattoo, we have to be mindful of how our bodies will be affected. Our lymphatic systems are compromised, after all, so it makes sense that we need to make a couple compromises and adjustments as well in order to stay healthy.

But what should you expect from your lymphedema when you’re expecting? I’ve gotten a lot of emails from readers with questions about pregnancy and lymphedema: will their lymphedema worsen during pregnancy? Will any increased swelling be permanent? What are the odds of passing on lymphedema to their baby? Pregnant women are prone to swelling in their legs and feet even without a preexisting condition like lymphedema, so how can a lymphie mama-to-be keep her swelling under control??

I can’t speak from experience so I don’t readily have answers to these questions—in fact, I’ve wondered these same things myself when thinking about whether or not I’d like a family of my own someday. It’s completely valid to have these sorts of fears and concerns, but don’t let them hold you hostage! Doing some research and talking to healthcare professionals are incredibly empowering and effective ways to figure out your treatment options and what you can expect during pregnancy.

I did a little research and compiled a general list of some things you can do to help keep your lymphedema under control during pregnancy. Because our community thrives on sharing our stories with one another, you are encouraged to share your own tips, experiences, and questions in the comments section below!

Managing Lymphedema During Pregnancy

Everybody is different, and every case of lymphedema is a little different, too! When the time comes, the safest thing to do is to speak with a doctor who can asses your case of lymphedema and offer their professional opinion regarding your options and any potential risks. That way you can be fully prepared and have a healthy pregnancy not just for you and your baby, but for your lymphatic system, too!

What are your experiences with pregnancy and lymphedema? What worked for you in terms of lymphedema management, and what didn’t?