Clumsiness during pregnancy

Clumsiness during pregnancy

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Is it normal to feel clumsy during pregnancy?

Yes. Many pregnant women feel ungainly, particularly in the last few months before giving birth. Research shows that more than one-quarter of women report falling at least once during the course of their pregnancy.

What causes clumsiness during pregnancy?

Clumsiness could be due to:

  • Weight. You're carrying more weight than you're used to, and this can affect your overall coordination.
  • New center of gravity. Your center of gravity shifts as your uterus grows, affecting your sense of balance.
  • Hormones. Hormonal changes loosen ligaments in your pelvis, knees, and other joints, affecting your posture and range of motion.
  • Swelling. If you have swelling in your feet and legs, it can affect the way you walk.
  • Weak abdominal muscles. In late pregnancy, it's possible to develop what's called a diastasis recti. In this condition, your expanding belly causes your "six-pack" abdominal muscles to separate vertically down the middle, weakening the abdominal area and possibly affecting movement.

You may feel clumsier in other ways too. The hormonal changes that affect large joints, like your knees, may also affect smaller joints, like your fingers. And fluid retention during pregnancy may put pressure on the nerves to your hands, leading to finger pain, tingling, and numbness, which could mean you're just not as dexterous as usual.

What can I do to prevent getting hurt if I'm pregnant and clumsy?

Remind yourself that you're not at the top of your game when it comes to muscle control and coordination, and try to:

  • Slow down. Take your time as you go about your day. Build in extra time to get to your meetings and appointments.
  • Skip risky tasks. Stay out of situations with a higher risk of falling – like climbing a ladder or standing on a chair to change a light bulb.
  • Choose sturdy shoes. Put your high heels away for now, and wear stable, comfortable shoes (preferably with a rubber sole) instead.
  • Walk carefully. Be extra cautious when walking on wet, icy, or uneven surfaces, and when going up or down steep steps. Use a handrail whenever possible. If the tricky terrain is unavoidable, you may find that widening your stance gives you a bit more stability.
  • Wear a support belt. Maternity support belts or "belly belts" are designed to support your abdomen and back, stabilize your hips, and improve your posture.
  • Avoid heavy lifting. Don't carry heavy loads, especially if you aren't accustomed to lifting. (And don't carry anything bulky. It's hard enough to see what's at your feet with your belly in the way!)

Also, research suggests that pregnant women tend to rely on visual cues to maintain balance more than usual, so pay attention to your surroundings and use adequate lighting.

When should I call my healthcare provider about my clumsiness?

If you also have lightheadedness, headaches, blurred vision, sudden swelling, or any pain, contact your provider immediately. And regardless of the cause, if you do take a tumble or bump your abdomen, give your provider a call right away. You'll probably need to be seen and evaluated.

Learn more:

Watch the video: Is it normal to be clumsy during pregnancy? Clumsiness during pregnancy (May 2022).