- Pregnancy & Childbirth
- Attachment Parenting
- Family Nutrition
- Family Wellness
You may occasionally feel shooting pains, tingling, or numbness in your lower back, buttocks, outer thighs, or legs. These occur when relaxing pelvic joints, the baby's head (or your enlarging uterus) presses on the major nerves that run from the backbone through the pelvis and toward each leg. Sudden, sharp pain that begins deep in the buttock on one side and travels down the back of that leg is due to pressure on the sciatic nerve in your lower back, hence its name sciatica; it is aggravated by lifting, bending, or even walking. Tingling numbness and pain along the outer thigh is caused by stretching of the femoral nerve to the leg. Rest and a change of position that shifts the pelvic pressure away from these nerves should alleviate the pains. These pains can be very debilitating for some women. They are so variable from woman to woman because of individual differences in pelvic bone structure and shape.ENLARGING VEINS ON THE LEGS, VULVA, RECTUM, NECK (or ANYWHERE!)
Varicose veins are just another of the many side effects of being pregnant. The hormones of pregnancy relax the muscular walls of veins, causing them to enlarge. These vessels need to expand to accommodate the extra blood volume of pregnancy. Legs are particularly likely to host varicose veins because the expanding uterus presses on the major blood vessels beneath it, and this puts pressure on the veins of the pelvis, sometimes causing blood to pool in the legs. Hemorrhoids are a type of enlarged vein, and you may notice bulging veins along your vulva. Whether or not you develop varicose veins during pregnancy is mostly a matter of heredity. If you notice that an area around the visible veins of your lower leg has become increasingly painful, red, swollen, warm, or tender, a vein may have become infected; a condition called thrombophlebitis, which is very serious; elevate your leg and notify your healthcare provider.