It is quite common for women to feel numbness during pregnancy, which affects various parts of their bodies. Studies indicate that women experience numbness more commonly in their arms, hands, fingers, fingertips, legs, feet, toes, mouth and tongue, as compared to other body parts. While the numbness does not cause any discomfort, it could lead to a tingling feeling, which can be a bit disconcerting for most pregnant women.
However, there times, when the numbness during pregnancy could be accompanied by swelling in various parts of the body. This could be the symptom of water retention caused by high blood pressure. Therefore, despite the fact that numbness during pregnancy does not really lead to any pain or discomfort, it is essential to keep the doctor informed about it.
The options for treating numbness during pregnancy may vary, based on the factors that cause it. At times, there may be no treatment required and incorporating a few lifestyle changes may be recommended.
Causes of Numbness During Pregnancy
The causes of numbness during pregnancy may differ from person to person, as well as the part of the body that is affected.
Arm numbness during pregnancy: One of the main causes of this affliction may be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which is more common in people who use their arms or fingers a lot. Excessive pressure on the meridian nerve usually leads to Carpal tunnel syndrome. In case the numbness in the arm is accompanied by pain and an occasionally burning sensation, then it is an indication of this condition. Apart from the arm, Carpal tunnel syndrome may also cause numbness in the fingers as well as the shoulders. This condition may begin during the first trimester and generally tends to get worse during the second trimester.
Numb tongue during pregnancy: There have been quite a few reports of women losing sensation in their tongue or their mouths, when they are pregnant. The most common cause for a numb tongue could be allergic reactions towards certain foods. Pregnant women do have a tendency to develop food allergies, which are marked by swelling and numbness in the tongue or a tingling feeling in the mouth. This cause can be confirmed by maintaining a diary to make note of all the foods that were eaten before the numbness began and then avoiding them. In case the swelling and numbness are not caused by an allergy, then it could be a nerve problem, which needs to be checked by a neurologist.
Leg numbness during pregnancy: Paresthesia in the nerves of the legs, could innervate certain areas in the leg, leading to numbness. The loss of feeling could get worse, after walking or even after sitting still or lying down for a while. However, this condition is not very common in pregnancy and therefore, it should be checked by a neurologist immediately. At times, pregnant women suffering from sciatica may also experience numbness in their legs during pregnancy.
Treating Numbness During Pregnancy
There are several treatment options that cannot be used by pregnant women, because they may have an adverse effect on the baby and the pregnancy. Therefore, as long as the loss of sensation in various parts of the body are not causing any pain or discomfort to the woman, doctors may recommend waiting until after delivery in order to get the condition treated. Fortunately, most cases of numbness or even swelling during pregnancy get resolved on their own, once the baby is born. However, if the condition persists after delivery, it may be necessary to consult a neurologist immediately. All instances of numbness during or after pregnancy should be brought to the doctor’s attention immediately.
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