An accumulation of water in the soft tissues of the body. Any condition that causes the body to retain additional water can cause edema. Most often the swelling appears in the feet, face and hands. Towards the end of the third trimester most women develop edema. Excessive edema can be associated with high blood pressure and other signs of pre-eclampsia. Newborn babies almost always have some edema. They lose this excess water in the first few days after birth.