Many women complain that their legs become numb during pregnancy. Most often, women experience this symptom in the third trimester. But it can occur at any time. Let us consider why legs become numb during pregnancy and how to get rid of discomfort.
Causes of numbness in pregnancy
Numbness or hypesthesia is a condition characterized by a decrease in sensitivity to stimuli. It begins with the feeling of goosebumps on the feet. Numbness is often diagnosed in expectant mothers.
At first, numbness occurs rarely and for short periods. Over time, seizures become more intense and occur more frequently. Manifest not only at night, but during the day. In most cases, hands and legs go numb in the 30th week of pregnancy.
The cause of numbness in the legs is a malfunction of the CNS (Central Nervous System) or circulatory failure. Often, discomfort develops due to squeezing of nerve endings or blood vessels.
Doctors identify the following causes of limb numbness during pregnancy:
- Increased load on the legs. Pregnant women from the second trimester quickly gain weight, this increases the load on the spinal column and large vessels of the legs. In the later stages of pregnancy, it becomes difficult for women to walk;
- Hypodynamia – reduced mobility. When pregnancy grows tummy, the woman becomes difficult to move. Therefore, the future mother for a long time does not change the position of the body or performs the same type of actions, which leads to stagnation of the lymph in the legs and their numbness;
- Edema. Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy leads to fluid accumulation and edema. This provokes squeezing of nerve endings and blood vessels and a decrease in sensitivity;
- Uncomfortable posture during sleep. At night, women do not control the position of the body, which leads to squeezing of the veins and nerves;
- Varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, hypesthesia caused by changes in hormonal levels during pregnancy, weight gain, increased blood flow;
- Lack of vitamins and minerals. Good nutrition can not provide the proper level of nutrients. A large amount of calcium from the mother’s body is used to form the fetal skeleton. A lack of calcium leads to muscle spasm, nerve crushing and numbness in the legs. Magnesium deficiency causes abnormalities in the work of the central nervous system – there is a failure in the transmission of nerve impulses, an abnormal muscle contraction and a numb feeling develop. The lack of vitamins of group B leads to damage to the nerve cells that cause goosebumps on the toes;
- Preparing the body for childbirth. Some women complain of hip numbness during the 37th week of pregnancy. This is due to the divergence of the pelvic bones and stretching of the muscles of the lower abdomen.
Numbness of the legs during pregnancy is a common symptom associated with anatomical and physiological changes in a woman’s body. After the baby is born, the numbness disappears as the body returns to normal functioning.
However, the occurrence of numbness in the legs can be a symptom of a serious disease that is latently developing during pregnancy:
- Diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Osteochondrosis is characterized by various symptoms: numbness of the extremities, back pain and sacrum. Lumbar diseases are accompanied by numbness in the lower limbs from the fingers to the thigh. Numbness of the feet and legs may indicate intervertebral hernia. Rheumatoid arthritis is accompanied by numbness of the fingers and foot;
- Diabetes, which is also characterized by numbness in the legs;
- Predisposition to heart attack. In this case, only the left leg and arm becomes numb;
- Diseases of the kidneys and urinary system.
Most often, women who are over 40 years old experience numbness in their legs.
If numbness of the lower limbs is associated with a systemic disease, the help of a qualified doctor will be required. Since the resulting complications can disrupt the work of all organs and body systems.
If the leg becomes numb during pregnancy, to cope with the discomfort will help:
- Massage numb zone – tingling, rubbing, tapping. You can use the massage roller. If the leg area becomes numb, which is difficult to reach yourself, you should ask someone to make a massage;
- Warming baths. Water should be at a comfortable temperature of 37-37.5 ° C, you can add essential oil of eucalyptus, fir or juniper. Feet warm, and discomfort disappears;
- Changing position. Movement restores blood flow and sensitivity. Therefore, you should often change the position of the body.
These methods are recommended as a first self-help if numbness occurs rarely. With more frequent seizures, an increase in unpleasant symptoms, and the appearance of pulling pain in the lower abdomen, a woman should consult a doctor.
In rare cases, a pregnant woman is sent for additional studies to determine the cause of leg numbness. If the discomfort is provoked by a systemic disease, then therapy is prescribed, depending on the diagnosis.
Treatment methods for numbness during pregnancy
The future mother must inform the attending gynecologist that her legs are numb. This will allow to identify the disease.
In pregnancy, a salt-free diet will help eliminate puffiness and numbness in the legs. Expectant mother should eat fractional, but regularly. The daily diet of a pregnant woman should contain foods that are high in magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins. These are liver (beef or chicken), cereals, whole grain bread, dairy products, persimmon, bananas, and dried fruits. If nutrition is not enough to replenish the required amount of vitamins and microelements, special multivitamin complexes are prescribed for pregnant women.
Varicose veins are also accompanied by swelling and numbness. To eliminate unpleasant symptoms, wearing compression underwear — tights, golf or stockings — is shown. The degree of compression and the type of product will recommend a doctor. Special knitwear normalizes blood flow and prevents the progression of the disease.
Completely get rid of unpleasant sensations will help professional massage. You can independently massage the legs above the knee, but this is less effective. The movements around the sacrum, the ankles and the feet should be as accurate as possible, since acupuncture points are located in these areas. Stimulation of these areas may trigger premature termination of pregnancy or early delivery.
Pregnancy is not a reason to abandon motor activity. The most useful sports for future mothers are swimming, yoga, pilates or walking. Such activities relieve swelling and allow you to get rid of numbness.
If your legs and arms go numb, you should perform a simple set of exercises immediately after waking up, without getting out of bed:
- Lying on your back, slowly raise both hands, then gently squeeze your fingers into a fist, relax your palm, lower your arms. Repeat 5 times;
- Lying on your back, slowly raise your right leg, gently rotate the foot in a clockwise direction, slowly lower it. Repeat for the second leg;
- Raise both legs and perform the exercise “bike”;
- Sit in bed, stretch both arms forward, squeeze your fingers into fists and scroll them in the wrist to the right and left sides.
Relief douche helps relieve numbness. The temperature difference with it should not exceed 10 ° C. Flexion and extension of the toes will help increase the effectiveness of the soul.
If the legs go numb often, the doctor prescribes special ointments, vitamin complexes and sedatives.
Prevention of numbness during pregnancy
To prevent the appearance of discomfort in the lower limbs, the expectant mother should observe the following rules:
- Balance your daily diet – include foods high in vitamins and beneficial trace elements. And from pickles, smoked meats. Fatty and fried foods are recommended to refuse, as it retains fluid in the body;
- Follow the drinking regime: it is recommended to drink at least 1.5-2 liters of pure non-carbonated water or herbal tea per day. Prohibited beverages are high in caffeine and sweet soda;
- Weight control. Weight gain during pregnancy must meet the established standards, otherwise the load on the legs increases;
- Physical activity. Hypodynamia and being in one position provokes numbness and swelling;
- The correct mode of the day: the alternation of work, activity and recreation. It is important that the working conditions be comfortable for the expectant mother, and in due time she went on maternity leave;
- Comfortable clothes that do not tighten the tummy and shoes from natural materials (leather, suede) on a stable sole;
- Clothes for the season. It is impossible to prevent hypothermia of the lower extremities. If your feet are cold, you should warm them in the bath;
- Regular massaging of the hips and legs;
- Comfortable position to sleep. The best option is on the left side;
- Reducing the amount of stress and experiences.
If the cause of numbness in the legs is not a systemic ailment, it passes on its own after the baby is born. Careful attention to your health, following the recommendations of the doctor will help the expectant mother to get rid of unpleasant symptoms or reduce its intensity.