numbness in my hands

I didn’t really feel that till this week.  >_<‘ 

How to reduce pain and numbness in your hands and perineal massage

You may be feeling some achiness and even numbness in your fingers, wrists,

and hands. Like many other tissues in your body, those in your wrist can retain

fluid, which can increase pressure in the carpal tunnel, a bony canal in your wrist.

Nerves that run through this “tunnel” may end up pinched, creating numbness;

tingling, shooting or burning pain; or a dull ache.Some practitioners recommend

massaging the perineum (the area between your vulva and your anus) to help

you avoid having an episiotomy or tearing during childbirth. Not everyone is

comfortable doing this but if you’d like to give it a try, now’s the time to start.

Here’s one method:

• Wash your hands and then sit in a warm, comfortable area,

 spreading your legs apart in a semi-reclined position.

Put Vitamin E oil (from Vitamin E capsules) or pure vegetable oil on

your fingers and thumbs and around your perineum.

• Place your thumbs about 1 to 1 1/2 inches

 (up to or just past your first knuckle) inside your vagina.

Press down toward your rectum and then out toward the sides.

Gently and firmly continue stretching until you feel a

slight burn or tingling. Hold this stretch for about 2 minutes —

 until the tingling starts to subside.

• Slowly and gently massage the lower part of the vaginal canal

 back and forth, hooking your thumbs onto the sides of the

vaginal canal and gently pulling these tissues forward,

as your baby’s head will do during delivery. Keep this up for 3 to 4 minutes.

• Be gentle, as a vigorous touch could cause bruising or swelling

 in these sensitive tissues. During the massage avoid pressure

on the urethra (urinary opening). This can cause irritation or infection.

Why is it more difficult to breathe now?

You need more oxygen as your baby grows, but that growing baby

is also compressing your lungs and making it more difficult

for you to take deep breaths, explains Dr. Margaret Pfeifer,

an obstetrician and gynecologist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Occasional or mild shortness of breath is a normal

pregnancy symptom, but if you’re getting severely winded doing

daily tasks or breathing is painful, get help right away.

What can women do to reduce the risk of tearing?

Erica Breneman
Obstetrician in Oakland, California, and mother of one
Having a provider who doesn’t routinely cut

episiotomies definitely decreases the chance

of large tears. Eating a healthy diet makes

tissue stronger. Some people advocate gentle perineal

stretching for the last six weeks of pregnancy,

which may help some. Women are also less likely

to tear after the first vaginal delivery.

MaryJane Lewitt
Certified Nurse-Midwife in Atlanta, Georgia, and mother of two
To reduce the risk of tearing during birth,

the best thing you can do ahead of time

is eat nutritiously and drink lots of water.

Some people also recommend perineal

massage and continued sex with your partner.

I think the most important thing is to

have a healthcare provider who’s skilled in

perineal massage while you’re pushing and knows various techniques to support the perineum during birth.

Expert Advice:

Is it safe to take a lot of antacids during pregnancy?

Expert: Ronald Ruggiero, clinical professor in the schools of pharmacy and medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CAAs long as you don’t take any more than is recommended on the label, antacids are not a problem. If you take too much, you’ll probably get somewhat constipated. But that’s not going to do any harm to your baby.

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