Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
Read more »
Pregnancy increases your body’s fluid volume, and often your system can’t keep up with it; edema — bloating and puffiness — is the swell result. To keep yourself flush:
7. Leg cramps
You’ve finally positioned each of the 52 pillows you need to get comfortable, and you’ve drifted off. Suddenly, your calf seizes up and you yelp out in pain. Weight gain and impaired circulation might be to blame. Follow these steps:
To prevent leg cramps, Thurston suggests a regular calf-stretching routine: Facing a wall, stand about a foot away and lean against it with your feet flat on the floor for 15 seconds.
To relieve a cramp while it’s happening, flex your foot upward, or have your partner firmly massage the calf.
Check your calcium intake; deficiency may be a contributing factor. Berk recommends cutting back on soft drinks, as the phosphorous in soda may affect the body’s phosphorous-calcium balance.
Keep circulation going with regular cardiovascular exercise.
8. Carpal tunnel syndrome
If your palm, thumb, index finger, middle finger, half your ring finger — but not your pinkie — feel numb, tingly or painful, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a common side effect of the swelling and postural changes of pregnancy. Relief is at hand:
9. Varicose veins
During pregnancy, your veins carry a double load, contending with increased blood volume and decreased or sluggish venous circulation. For women who inherit the propensity, varicose veins in the legs, vulva or rectum are the result. Fight back with these strategies: