Numbness During Pregnancy – Causes And Tips To Deal

6 min read

Written by Suma rp

Suma rp

woman suffering from leg numbness during pregnancy

This new numbness of hands, legs, feet, belly, and other body parts has puzzled you. But numbness during pregnancy is common and all mothers go through it. It is mostly a play of a hormone called relaxin. As the name suggests, it relaxes the muscles, joints, and ligaments, causing the nerves to get pinched easily while lifting heavy, sleeping, etc. Relaxin is so that you can stretch your body easily at the time of delivery. Moreover, the extra weight of the baby causes the mother to tilt a bit forward. She won’t function effectively if some body parts are too tense, they need to be relaxed.

There are some remedies that will reduce the numbness. For example, on some days you’ll feel more numbness than on normal days. You can simply note the foods that you ate that day. Avoiding those foods will relieve you from the excess numbness. Additionally, some doctor-prescribed medicines will also help. This article helps you understand everything about numbness during pregnancy, its causes, and tips to deal with it.  pregnancy pillow

In This Article

Is Numbness Normal In Pregnancy?

A to-be mother goes through a plethora of bodily changes, and numbness is just one of them. A tingling or a loss of sensation in body parts like legs, hands, face, belly, and so on has been familiar to all pregnant women. These changes are happening because your body is adapting to make your uterus expand for the baby. Moreover, there are a few other reasons for this, explained in easy words below. Just keep in mind, there is nothing you should fear about numbness during pregnancy.

Symptoms Of Numbness During Pregnancy

pregnant woman pressing her wrist

Here are a few symptoms that you may experience when having numbness during pregnancy

  • Numbness in certain body parts. A feeling as if someone is touching them with pins and needles.
  • A loss of sensation while lying down, sitting, or sleeping – it disappears once the posture is changed
  • Numb legs post a nap or sleep
  • Legs and hands go numb after sleep or lifting something heavy
  • Numbness in fingers because of the stressed-out joints
  • Numbness in the tongue after suddenly moving the neck abruptly, or following eating something

Causes Of Numbness And Tingling In Pregnancy

Here are a few causes of numbness and tingling sensation during pregnancy

1. Relaxin

During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin released during this time relaxes your joints, muscles, and ligaments. This is so that your body can stretch. Stretched joints can lead to the feeling of numbness.

2. Pregnancy Weight

An expectant mother’s body tilts a bit forward during standing, walking, or doing anything due to the baby’s weight in her belly. She’ll not be able to walk or function effectively if her joints, muscles, and ligaments are not relaxed. 

3. Melargia Paresthetica

In this condition, the thigh nerve which gives sensation to the thigh muscles can get compressed leading to the sensation of numbness during pregnancy. 

4. Sciatica

Many women experience sciatica pain during pregnancy. Pregnancy weight gain is the culprit, where the weight gain or the water retention exerts pressure on the sciatic nerve resulting in numbness. 

5. Water Retention

Other than that, there is fluid retention in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters causing hands and feet to swell. It is necessary to make the body soft, and easy to expand. This contributes to numbness as well.

6. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Fluid retention in wrists exerts pressure on the median nerve causing carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy. This causes dull ache, numbness, and tingling sensation 

However, it also causes a pregnant mother’s joint nerves to get pinched by the weight, especially when they are relaxed. Hence, the body part from which the nerve is connected goes numb. The main concept to understand is that the body parts are relaxed during pregnancy. Thus, the nerves very easily get compressed during sleep, lifting heavy, and so on.

Tips To Deal With Pregnancy Numbness

woman having numbness in legs

Below are some remedies which will help you to minimize the pain, as it’s not possible to completely avoid this.

  • Record what you ate when you feel that ‘it’s too much numbness’. It’s very easy to know when, on certain days, the numb sensation suddenly increases. Reduce or eliminate those foods temporarily from your diet.
  • The spinal nerves get pressured when you jerk your neck. So avoid such sudden movements.
  • Don’t lift a heavy object in the third trimester causing your lower back to get stressed. Sit and sleep in a posture that doesn’t give you numbness.
  • Cut out high sodium-containing foods from your diet. They cause more fluid retention as well as high blood pressure.
  • Low blood sugar may cause numbness in the tongue, so eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Consider wearing wrist splints during the night. It will surely make your hands more comfortable.
  • Do light exercises regularly to keep your body active, and lower the numb sensations.

Treatment Options For Numbness During Pregnancy

pregnant woman getting massage for numbness

There are a couple of treatment options to reduce numbness during pregnancy and the tingling sensation in the hands, legs, back, fingers, and buttocks.

  • Massage Therapy
  • Heating pads
  • Physical Therapy
  • Warm baths or showers
  • Pregnancy-friendly medicines recommended by a doctor
  • Sleeping on the unaffected side of the body (adjusting the sides)

Can You Prevent Numbness During Pregnancy?

There are only ways to bring down the level of these tingling sensations and numbness. However, it is not possible to completely avoid them. This discomfort will only last as long as you’re pregnant.

When Should You be Worried About The Numbness?

There is one thing as normal numbness and another which is not common and is accompanied by some other symptoms. Be watchful of them, as they signify some other health conditions like gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and vitamin deficiency. 

Here are a few symptoms that demand your doctor’s attention

  • Let your doctor know if you have a creepy-crawly feeling in the leg
  • If you experience numbers followed by muscle weakness
  • Experience difficulty walking
  • Have reduced memory
  • Have vision disturbances
  • Experience acute headaches
  • Experience acute abdominal pain
  • Have Seizures
  • Feel nauseated and have vomiting
  • Urine output is comparatively lesser
  • Mismanagement of Gestational diabetes (for only those diagnosed with the condition before, these sensations mean improper management of this condition)

When Should You Consult a Doctor?

The above symptoms mean that you must visit your doctor. Normally, the swelling and numbness can be dealt with by doctor-approved medication, home therapy, and so on. But here, the cause of this discomfort is some other health condition.

Unlike other pregnancy symptoms, numbness and tingling hardly indicate a serious issue. You need not worry about numbness during pregnancy. If you follow the instructions of this article well, you will see an increased sense of well-being and a reduction in this distress.


1. Why Do My Hands Go Numb When I Sleep During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, most of your ligaments and nerves relax and there is fluid retention. A nerve in your wrist gets compressed due to fluid retention which leads to numbness and dull ache. 

2. Why is My Left Hip Numb And Tingling During Pregnancy?

It is called sciatica. The expansion of your uterus is pressing some nerves already – it gets enhanced by some sleeping positions. So, change it as per your comfort.

3. Is Poor Circulation in Hands Normal During Pregnancy?

Yes. It is normal. Exercise helps to deal with this to some extent.

4. Does Pregnancy Numbness go Away?

It certainly goes away without a trace. The little one’s arrival will be met with the freedom from numbness and many other pregnancy discomforts.

Suma rp,M.Sc (Organic Chemistry) Rayalaseema University B.Sc (Biotechnology) Sri Krishna Devaraya University.

Suma is a passionate content writer with a strong keenness to understand the miracle of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Suma has successfully transitioned into a full-time content writer and a key contributor at Being The Parent. She leverages on her experimental background in chemistry and experience in writing to come up with well-researched content that helps parents struggling to deal with various medical conditions of their children.Read more.

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