Clumsiness During Pregnancy
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Have you found yourself being inexplicably clumsy lately? Increased clumsiness is a common side effect of pregnancy. You might experience it in a number of ways. Perhaps you are more prone to dropping things, or you find yourself bumping into doorways and other furniture.
Why am I so clumsy?
Well, there are a number of reasons to explain increased bumps and bruises during pregnancy, and while none of these causes are anything to worry about, their potential consequences might be.
As you may already be aware, during pregnancy your body dramatically increases the production of an aptly named hormone called relaxin. The purpose of this is to relax the joints in the pelvis in order to make it easier for the baby to pass through the birth canal during labour. Unfortunately, relaxin is unable to restrict its effects to the pelvis only, and actually affects many other joints in the body, which can then have an impact on your movement. This means that coordination, balance and grip can be more difficult, all of which increase the chances of you dropping that glass or tripping over a step. Grip is also affected by increased water retention during pregnancy, which nearly all women experience to varying degrees.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition which some pregnant women experience. It affects the feeling and movement to parts of the hand and can have quite a severe impact on your ability to maintain a grip on objects. Carpal tunnel usually disappears after pregnancy, but in some cases minor surgery is required to resolve it.
The most obvious physical factor contributing to those trips and tumbles is your changing shape. As you grow bigger your centre of gravity is constantly changing, making you off balance. In addition, there comes a time in most pregnancies where you can no longer see your own feet. This might sound amusing but it can also be dangerous when it comes to stepping up onto something or over objects.
On top of all these reasons for increased clumsiness, a reduced level of concentration and fatigue at various stages of your pregnancy increases the chances that accidents will happen.
What can I do about it?
Well, you can't stop your body from producing relaxin, and neither can you prevent your bump from getting bigger every week. The most important and effective thing that you can do is to remember that you are at greater risk of accidents for the time being, and that you are carrying a very important person inside you. You must take greater care at all times, and slow down when it comes to certain activities. Do not take the stairs two at a time, and make sure that you use those banisters and hand rails. Remind yourself of your physical limitations - where you used to take a shortcut racing to the phone by squeezing behind the kitchen table, squeezing is now off the cards and you'll need to take another route, even if it does cost you an extra 5 seconds!
Remember, if you do take a fall and your tummy takes the impact, or if you are concerned that you are injured in any way, seek medical advice immediately. Your uterus is a very strong and effective safety wall for your baby but you should still always get checked over by your doctor or midwife if you have fallen, just to be sure.