Tired legs are a common nuisance of pregnancy, especially in recent weeks, when the weight of the uterus and hormonal changes make it difficult for the venous return of the legs, making them feel heavy, swollen and especially at the end of the day. tired The good news is that there are many tips you can follow to alleviate this problem.
Why do I have tired legs in pregnancy?
It is very common that, from the second trimester of pregnancy, but especially towards the end of it, the legs feel very tired, especially at the end of the day, since they are responsible for supporting the entire weight of the baby and the uterus. In addition, hormonal changes in pregnancy, especially the hormone progesterone, cause blood vessels to dilate, which complicates blood circulation. If we add to that that the volume of blood increases by 50% in pregnancy, it is normal that there is significant fluid retention that accumulates, especially in the legs, causing swelling, heaviness, and discomfort.
There are also other factors that influence this heaviness to be more or less annoying, such as genetics (if your mother has circulation problems or varicose veins, it is likely that you suffer from this symptom), weight gain (the more fattening in pregnancy , more likely to suffer heaviness in the legs), lack of exercise or weather (the hotter it is, the more likely to suffer from this discomfort).
Tips to avoid tired legs
If when night comes and you lie on the sofa or in bed you start to notice tingling, heaviness, and tiredness in the legs, which even makes sleep difficult, do not hesitate to follow these tips that can alleviate this common discomfort:
- Massages. Massaging your legs is one of the best ways to combat fluid retention and heaviness. You can go to a professional masseuse specialized in these cases or learn some movements that can help you improve tiredness in the legs. Apply a moisturizer or oil so that your hands move better and, if the gut prevents you and give you a massage, do not hesitate to ask your partner for help. It will be an intimate and relaxing moment for both of you.
- Whenever you can, rest with your legs up to facilitate venous return. Put on a stool if you are sitting, or some cushions if you are lying down so that your legs are slightly higher than the rest of the body. You can also use pregnancy pillows.
- The cold water baths also help the circulation to reactivate, you can rest your feet in cold salt water or take a cold shower in your legs. Do it several times a day, but, above all, at the end of the day and before going to bed.
- The daily exercise or regularly helps prevent many discomforts of pregnancy, including tired legs. Therefore, it is important that you often exercise such as swimming, walking, pilates or yoga to keep fit and avoid this problem or backaches. In addition, at home, you can perform a series of exercises with the legs to promote circulation, such as ankle rotations, raise and lower the foot with the legs stretched, raise the legs and raise them from top to bottom, etc.
- Take care of your diet and weight gain (do not gain more than 12 kilos). It is important to reduce salt to prevent fluid retention and drink plenty of water and liquids such as soups, broths, gazpacho, herbal teas, etc. You should also include in your diet diuretic foods such as asparagus, onion, pineapple or artichoke, which will help you eliminate excess fluid.
- Take care of your posture and do not stay long in the same position. If you work sitting, do not cross your legs and try to have them slightly raised on a low banquet. Also, stretch them every so often and get up for short walks every hour. If your work forces you to the contrary, that is, to stand a long time, try to rest your butt on a stool and do rotary exercises with your ankles, try to have one leg more forward than the other and go alternating.
- Do not wear very tight clothes, especially on the legs and, if you see it necessary, wear special socks to promote circulation and avoid heaviness and varicose veins, especially if you work all day standing.
- Do not often wear high heels, ideally, they are about 2 or 3 cm. Leave the heels for special occasions and try to go with wide and comfortable shoes.
- The heat is bad for the legs, so avoid spending a lot of time sunbathing, taking hot baths or using hot wax to shave, since all this can favor vasodilation and cause more circulation problems. To shave, better cold wax, blade or electric razors.