The circulatory system goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy, one of which is bad circulation, especially in the legs. This can cause cramps that range from mild discomfort to severe pain. The reasons for developing cramps during pregnancy are not clear, but some possible factors include changes in blood circulation during pregnancy and the added stress on leg muscles from carrying extra weight.
Although bad circulation during pregnancy is not a cause for alarm, if you experience any redness, swelling or warmth in your legs, consult your doctor. There are easy exercises that can help you prevent leg cramps. Stretching your legs before bedtime can reduce stress on your leg muscles. To stretch your legs effectively, start by stretching your heels and then move your toes in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction. Avoid pointing your toes while doing the exercises.
It’s important to avoid remaining in one position, standing or sitting, for too long as this can restrict blood flow and cause circulatory problems. Some simple but effective exercises like walking during pregnancy can promote blood circulation and help relieve leg cramps.
Feeling light-headed during pregnancy is common and normal. This is because the cardiovascular system is going through some quick changes, with an increased heart rate and more blood being pumped per minute. The amount of blood in your body increases by 40 to 45%. You might also experience a reduction in blood pressure during the early stages of pregnancy. A woman’s blood pressure typically reaches its lowest point in the middle of pregnancy and then starts to rise again until it returns to normal levels at the end of pregnancy. Although the cardiovascular and nervous system are usually able to handle these changes, there are times when they can’t, resulting in a feeling of dizziness and lightheadedness. Unless you faint as a result of this lightheadedness, there’s no cause for worry. Just lie down, so you don’t fall down and hurt yourself. If you’re feeling faint or dizzy, it’s important to lie down or sit down and put your head between your knees so that you don’t pass out.
One way to prevent light-headedness during pregnancy is by lying down on your left side. This allows for easy blood flow to your heart and brain. Here is some more information on the causes of light-headedness during pregnancy and how you can prevent them:
A good way to avoid getting dizzy or lightheaded is by never changing your body position too quickly. For example, when lying down, slowly sit up and when sitting, stand up slowly.
To promote circulation when you are sitting in one position for a long time, try twirling your legs from one side to the other.
Lying on your back during the second and third semesters should be avoided as it can negatively affect blood circulation. Your heart rate will increase, blood pressure may drop, and you may feel lightheaded, dizzy or nauseous. Lying on your side is safer than lying flat on your back.
Make sure you’re staying hydrated and eating properly throughout the day. When you don’t eat well, your blood sugar level drops and can result in feeling dizzy and uneasy. If you don’t feel like eating at regular intervals, make sure to have small snacks available, so you can keep your energy up.
Iron-deficiency anemia can cause your body to have fewer blood cells to carry oxygen to your brain. To prevent this, make sure your diet is rich in iron so that you have enough blood to feed your heart and brain.