I’ve been recently compiling a few more resources on salt intake during pregnancy. There simply is no science to support the idea that REAL, WHOLE salt should be reduced or eliminated during pregnancy NOR that doing so will decrease swelling.
Here is a great handout on SALT in pregnancy (not to techy). It is from the UK with some US sources.
MidwiferyServices.org has a lovely section on salt to this tune:
What’s Up With Salt?
Sodium is an extremely important component in your diet and yet many women still get misguided advice to not eat salt while pregnant. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stopped recommending salt-restriction to pregnant women in 1974, when it was finally acknowledged that this was not only not beneficial, but was potentially harmful!
Sodium works together with protein (albumin) to maintain a normal circulating blood volume. A pregnant woman needs additional sodium to help support her expanding blood volume. Additional sodium goes to the baby and to the expanding breast and uterine tissues also.
Commonly, friends and family will offer advice to cut back on salt if you are experiencing swelling. This is not a healthy solution to this problem (if it really is a problem) and can in fact cause problems. The correct response to swelling is to increase protein and fluid intake. You may even need additional salt if it has been hot or you have experienced increased perspiration. The general rule of thumb is: Salt your food to taste.
And this is my all-time favorite article on the salt-myth because it includes some discussion (often lacking) about the importance of the TYPE of salt you use. Thank you Maryn!!!