Improve circulation without affecting the cargo
It’s no secret that your body is undergoing some serious changes during the nine months it takes to create a baby, but you may not realize the effect it has on your health. While you know about the swelling and the potential hair loss, your circulation often falls to the back of your mind. Although your blood cells are running an obstacle course around displaced organs and down to the uterus, you don’t have to let it stay that way. Here’s what you need to know about circulation while you’re pregnant:
Baby Makin’ is a Big Deal
A healthy, non-impregnated person has easy, unobstructed circulation: the blood flows continuously from the heart to the rest of the body. In a pregnant woman, the blood has more tasks added to its job: filtering through the placenta to deliver nutrients and take away any waste. The extra demand on your blood increases your heart rate, meaning your blood pressure will adjust: lowering during the first half of your pregnancy, and rising towards the second half.
Circulation is an easy thing to take for granted until something changes: since your blood flows throughout your body, your entire body may also be affected by its changes. Here is a short list of new symptoms you may experience with your change in blood flow:
- Edema is when excess fluid collects in your tissue—which is why your ankles and feet may swell. The majority of women experience this to some degree during their pregnancy.
- Dizziness: This is likely due to having lower blood pressure.
- Exhaustion: Your body has a lot more work to do, so this is especially common.
- Hypertension, or high blood pressure, should be closely monitored by your doctor. You may be prescribed a baby-safe medication if needed.
- Preeclampsia is when your blood pressure remains high and protein begins to show in your urine. Although this can be a potentially harmful condition, it’s rare and not preventable. Your doctor will be able to test you for this if you begin to show symptoms.
Don’t let the list of scary words and possibilities prevent you from carrying on about your normal day. Your doctor and nurses will be monitoring your blood pressure—among a myriad of other things—with each doctor’s appointment, so don’t panic without reason to. Instead, why not enlist a few of these natural remedies to help improve your circulation?
- Exercise: A few mild exercises can help get your blood flowing, without taking a toll on your body. A short walk, light yoga stretches, and small pelvic exercises can bring a load of benefits to you and baby.
- Eat up: Spicy foods, if you are able to eat them, are packed with a low-density lipoprotein which provides a wide range of health benefits. Ginger, in addition to curbing nausea, also can help jump start blood flow. Other snacks that can help include oranges, dark chocolate, avocados, and watermelon.
- Relax: Get a massage, grab a good book, whatever you need to do—sit back and put your feet up for a bit. Taking a moment to sit out and relieve yourself from stress can also have a wondrous effect on your body.
As always, talk to your doctor before trying any natural remedy. For questions and concerns, feel free to give us a call—we’d love to discuss your circulation and how it may be affecting our pregnancy.