A woman undergoes many changes in her body when she is pregnant. Numbness is one of that; you may experience it in legs, arms, belly, face or any other part of the body. This is a common symptom in the first trimester for most of the expectant women. It happens because the body starts to change and prepare itself for the newborn. Numbness in the second trimester mostly occurs due to the improper sleep and sitting postures. These symptoms will be more towards the third trimester; it is due to the nerves that get compressed by the increased size of the uterus and the changes in sleeping postures.
Symptoms of numbness in pregnancy
- You may feel numbness or tingle like pins and needles, there will be a loss of sensation or pain which usually subsides by switching the sides. This can happen anywhere in the body. This is a very common symptom and one need not worry about it.
- You may have numbness in legs when you wake up in the morning or after a nap.
- Many pregnant women feel numbness in hand and arm soon after waking up from sleep or sometimes after lifting heavy objects.
- Numbness also occurs in the finger due to stressed out joints.
- You may also experience numbness in tongue after intake of certain foods or if you have strained your neck due to sudden movement.
What causes numbness during pregnancy?
The reasons which cause the numbness and tingling are the bodily changes that you are experiencing and the hormones. The hormone relaxin which is released by your body allows your ligaments to stretch during pregnancy and childbirth. This may cause the body’s weight to pinch nerves in the joints and subsequently numb a related area.
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You may also feel numbness and tingling as your uterus grows heavier and fuller; this gives strain to your muscles, ligaments, and nerves.
As the days pass on and move towards 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy, you will experience swelling in the hands and feet, this happens due to water retention. This swelling will contribute to feelings of numbness and tingling, and also put pressure on the nerves of your wrists, back, legs, thighs, and rear.
For some women, early pregnancy hormones will cause the body to retain water that leads to carpal tunnel syndrome. This painful condition affects hands and arms. This is common during pregnancy, it generally happens because expecting mom’s gains about 50% more blood during pregnancy. This causes pressure on the median nerve in the arm and causes pain.
Certain factors that cause anemia such as red blood cells count, deficiency of Iron or any other genetic factors may also cause numbness, dizziness, and pain.
Most of pregnant women experience sciatica which causes pain and numbness. The pain is severe and runs from the lower back down the whole length of the leg. This is very common in the second and third trimester as the growing baby in the uterus gives pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower back.
Remedies for the numbness-
There is no exact remedy for numbness; however, there are measures to reduce the pain.
- Start to make note of the foods that cause numbness when you consume them.
- Avoid jerking movements of the neck, as they can give pressure on the spinal nerves that may lead to numbness.
- Be careful in the third trimester, do not lift heavy weights and strain your back and be cautious about sitting and sleeping postures.
- Foods which are high in sodium has to be reduced, it causes high blood pressure and water retention.
- Numbness in the tongue may be caused due to low blood sugar.
- Wear wrist splints during the night to keep the hands comfortable.
- Gentle exercises will keep your body active and reduce the numbness of the body.