Pregnancy's effect on circulation - what you need to know

During pregnancy, many changes occur in the body, including an increase in blood volume. Read on to understand how this affects your body and what you can do to alleviate any symptoms.

Anna Reinhold Landaeus

2 min read

Verified by Anna Reinhold Landaeus

Licensed Personal Trainer - expertise in training during and after pregnancy.

Pregnancy's effect on circulation - what you need to knowPhoto: Preggers

When you're pregnant, your blood volume increases by up to 50%, which, together with increased levels of the hormone progesterone, causes blood flow to the skin to increase. This can make you feel extra warm and sweaty. Your heart rate also increases, especially in late pregnancy, meaning you breathe differently to oxygenate your entire blood volume. These changes can make you feel breathless or have difficulty breathing, especially when the organs in the abdominal cavity are pushed to the sides and the nasal membranes swell.

In addition to affecting your breathing, the increase in blood volume can also cause other unpleasant symptoms. Carpal tunnel syndrome, which is characterized by pain and numbness in the wrist and fingers, is common among pregnant women. You can alleviate these symptoms by avoiding static wrist movements and keeping your wrist straight.

Vena cava syndrome is another common condition during pregnancy. This can cause dizziness, nausea, and fainting, especially when lying on your back. Rolling over to your left side can relieve these symptoms. The recommendation is also to avoid supine exercises from around week 16 of pregnancy. However, hip lifts and other exercises where you are not lying still on your back are okay.

Anna Reinhold Landaeus

Verified by Anna Reinhold Landaeus

Licensed Personal Trainer - expertise in training during and after pregnancy.

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