Some of the most unpleasant side effects of pregnancy can center around our legs. Aching, hot and itchy, all three are sensations that you cannot ignore, and you probably would not want to either. During pregnancy, your legs may feel achy and heavy, as if you’ve been carrying around a large load all day. The skin on your legs may also be stretched and dry, causing irritation and itchiness. Hot flashes and night sweats can also make your legs feel hot and uncomfortable.
So, why might my legs bother me during pregnancy?
It could be because of the hormones our bodies produce during pregnancy, which can relax the smooth muscle fibers of blood vessel walls. This, in turn, can make our blood circulation slower than usual, which can lead to leg ache. For some women, this can cause hot and itchy legs, and you will most likely find that, as your pregnancy progresses, the problem will intensify. This is because your uterus constricts circulation even more as it gains weight.
How can I ease this?
If you want to improve your circulation, you need to keep your legs moving. It may be uncomfortable at first if your legs are sore, but sitting down for long periods of time will only make your circulation worse. Take a short walk, flex your ankles, and rise up and down on your tiptoes to encourage circulation. Also, try not to cross your legs when you sit down. For many of us, leg crossing is natural, and we don’t even realize we’re doing it. But crossing your legs can also make your circulation sluggish.
It’s important to take care of your legs, especially if you are susceptible to varicose veins. When you are laying down, raise your legs, so they are slightly elevated, by placing a pillow underneath them. This will help blood flow more freely and reduce pressure on your veins. Additionally, wear support pantyhose. They may not be very sexy, but they will give your legs the support they need and can also help prevent and assist with varicose veins.
If you want to cool your legs down quickly, try a leg cooling cream. Brands such as Burt’s Bees pack their creams with peppermint, which has an instant cooling effect. Alternatively, you could also use a shower gel with peppermint. Original Source is a brand that makes peppermint-filled shower gels, so you can start your day by refreshing your legs in the shower.
If your legs are feeling itchy, there are a few things you can do to help soothe them. Try adding chamomile lotion to your bath or applying baby oil on a daily basis. You could also try using a moisturizing cream or lotion after you shower or bath.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should talk to your midwife or doctor:
– Your legs begin to swell
– Your legs are persistently and unbearably itchy
– You experience pain in one leg or the pain intensifies when you move or walk on the leg
– You have an intense headache or backache alongside your leg ache
– Your legs develop varicose veins
If you’re experiencing problematic legs during your pregnancy, don’t worry – it’s perfectly normal. Many pregnant women experience common side effects like varicose veins, but fortunately, these usually disappear after the baby is born. So try to enjoy your pregnancy and have faith that everything will eventually go back to normal.