Pins and Needles in Pregnancy (and other common pains!)

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Did you know that getting pins and needles in pregnancy is remarkably common. We look at the causes, and some other common aches and pains you may experience.

Why Do you Get Pins and Needles During Pregnancy?

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is relatively common in the last trimester.  It is characterised by numbness and pins and needles on the outer three fingers on your hand.   It is caused by compression of the nerves as they pass underneath the sheath of the wrist joint.  This is because of increased fluid pushing on the nerves.  It can cause sleep disturbance and make you clumsy in the morning, especially with your first cup of tea!  There is no cure but if the symptoms are bad, they can be minimised by wearing splints that keep your wrists in a neutral position.  Your doctor or midwife will advise you on this.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

This may occur in the feet causing similar symptoms on the outer toes.  Both these syndromes should disappear after you have given birth.

Pins and Needles in Other Areas

It is possible to develop a patch of supersensitive skin on the top of the thigh, which may feel like pins and needles.  This is a result of the compression of the nerves at the top of the thigh where the top of leg joins with the abdomen. Irritatingly there is no cure for this sensation but like many of these ailments, should vanish as soon as you have given birth.

Rib Pain

Rib pain can be a common complaint as the ribs splay out as the baby grows bigger.  This movement of the ribs is also needed to allow the lungs to expand properly to keep you oxygenated.  It is possible to feel pins and needles and numbness in this area if nerves get squashed here too.  Like these other conditions, this will also cease as soon as you have had the baby.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome is another irritation that can occur at anytime during your pregnancy.  It manifests itself as an irresistible urge to move your legs and can often involve an unpleasant creeping sensation in the feet, calves and thighs.   No one knows the exact cause of this condition, but it is not unique to pregnancy.   However, it will go away once you have given birth.  Daily exercise, massage and cutting down on caffeine may help with the discomfort.

If you have more questions, do join our Online Antenatal Course – it will give you all the reassurance you need.

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