Did you realise that you are becoming clumsier as your pregnancy continues? You are likely to notice that anything in your hand instantly falls to the ground or you may struggle to hold items. You may also end up bumping the doors, frames or any other cabinets in your home. But, you need not worry anymore about it as clumsiness in pregnancy is quite a normal symptom to expect.
Pregnancy is the time when you feel that you are not being yourself. You may not feel as energetic as you used to be. You may feel sleepy or drowsy before and after meals and feel disinterested in daily chores. But, you should know that, clumsiness is a temporary side effect of pregnancy caused by several factors:
- Your tummy is throwing you off- Your increasing baby bump shifts your center of gravity, throwing you off balance. This uneasiness in balance is most apparent when you're climbing a flight of stairs, walking on a slippery surface, or carrying heavy stuff around. Not being able to see past your belly to your feet can also make you trip.
- Your hormones are acting funny- Hormones that loosen your joints and ligaments and cause you to retain extra fluids cause carpal tunnel syndrome, which makes your grasp on objects less firm and sure.
- You are always tired and exhausted- Pregnancy fatigue can make it easier to both trip and drop when you're too tired. You may not notice things you used to, usually or may want to ignore them. This is one period you will recover from your cleanliness OCD.
- You are more forgetful than ever- Pregnancy brain can also make you forget where you left the keys or lock the almirah.
What causes clumsiness during pregnancy?
Clumsiness can be caused due to the following factors given below:
- Weight: You're carrying more weight than you're used to, and this can affect your overall coordination.
- New center of gravity: Your center of gravity shifts as your uterus grows, affecting your sense of balance.
- Hormones: Hormonal changes loosen ligaments in your pelvis, knees, and other joints, affecting your posture and range of motion.
- Swelling: If you have swelling in your feet and legs, it can affect the way you walk.
- Weak abdominal muscles: In late pregnancy, it's possible to develop what's called a diastasis recti. In this condition, your expanding belly causes your "six-pack" abdominal muscles to separate vertically down the middle, weakening the abdominal area and possibly affecting movement.
- You may feel clumsier in other ways too: The hormonal changes that affect large joints, like your knees, may also affect smaller joints, like your fingers. And fluid retention during pregnancy may put pressure on the nerves to your hands, leading to finger pain, tingling, and numbness, which could mean you're just not as dexterous as usual.
What can I do to prevent getting hurt if I'm pregnant and clumsy?
Remind yourself that you're not at the top of your game when it comes to muscle control and coordination, and try to:
- Slow down: Take your time as you go about your day. Build in extra time to get to your meetings and appointments.
- Skip risky tasks: Stay out of situations with a higher risk of falling – like climbing a ladder or standing on a chair to change a light bulb.
- Choose sturdy shoes: Put your high heels away for now, and wear stable, comfortable shoes (preferably with a rubber sole) instead.
- Walk carefully: Be extra cautious when walking on wet, icy, or uneven surfaces, and when going up or down steep steps. Use a handrail whenever possible. If the tricky terrain is unavoidable, you may find that widening your stance gives you a bit more stability.
- Wear a support belt: Maternity support belts or "belly belts" are designed to support your abdomen and back, stabilize your hips, and improve your posture.
- Avoid heavy lifting: Don't carry heavy loads, especially if you aren't accustomed to lifting.
What Should You Do About Clumsiness?
Although clumsiness can make simple day-to-day tasks tougher, most pregnancy clutziness is little more than an annoyance. For obvious reasons, however, you want to try and avoid falling during pregnancy— which is why "caution" should be your middle name these days. A few tips:
- Try to have a sense of humor- When else can you make a one-woman show out of just showing up? If you can let everyone else have a giggle at it, chances are you’ll feel better equipped to deal with that extra set of thumbs and those two left feet you suddenly feel as though you're sporting.
- Proceed with care- Slow down, especially in the shower or when it’s icy outside. Don't wear slippery soles or socks without shoes, secure area rugs with padding or sticky tape, keep hallways and stairs clear of objects that might trip you up, and don't stand on any chairs.
- Don't pick up stuff - The clumsiness will be with you for a while, so leave your favorite crystal on the shelf for the duration and let someone else load and unload the dishwasher.
When Should You Talk to Your Doctor About Clumsiness?
If you're feeling super swollen and also experiencing blurred vision or sudden unexplained weight gain unrelated to your eating habits, check in with your practitioner. In relatively rare cases, it could be a sign of undiagnosed high blood pressure or preeclampsia, which can cause moderate to severe swelling of the hands (one of the common causes of clumsiness).