It is not surprising, given the hormonal changes which affect the muscles and ligaments, and the extra weight being carried on one part of the body, that many pregnant women suffer from back ache at various stages over the nine months they are expecting. Other problems like leg cramps and pins and needles can make you unsure of whether to chill out and rest or get up and shake yourself about! However, a good balance of both is what’s really needed.
Taking it easy without turning into a couch potato
It’s important to give yourself some me-time when you are pregnant and relax.
However, make sure you are supporting your back properly. If you have already been introduced to the joys of a birthing ball, try to perch on this to watch television, or move around and find different ways to sit with your back fully supported.
If you are sitting on a soft chair or sofa, remember to support the various parts of your body with cushions so that you are not putting pressure on your back or neck. Perhaps use a pregnancy pillow if you have one.
Tiredness can mean you want to sit back and relax more often but remember that you have more blood running around your body when you are pregnant and if you sit in one place for a long time you are even more prone that a non-pregnant person to get blood pooling in your legs.
If your feet are swelling up it might be oedema and you will have to put your feet up for a while to clear it. If you suffer from swollen ankles make sure you mention it at your next ante-natal check-up.
As a rule, get up every 40 minutes or so to walk around or stretch your legs. It is a good idea too, to break from long journeys when you’re sitting down in a car, train or plane every hour or so and walk around.
When you are sitting (when at home, at a desk job or travelling) try to remember to occasionally wriggle your toes, do circles with your ankles and feet and stretch out your legs. If you get achy hands or they swell, try wrist movements and stretching your arms.