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As pregnancy progresses and women get larger, what stresses are put on circulation?

As pregnancy progresses, many women will come into the office complaining that their hands or feet are numb or that they’re swelling. Again, with increases of hormones, particularly progesterone, in pregnancy, the vascular system becomes very leaky and increased tissue fluid is particularly noted in the hands, feet and legs.

Carpel tunnel syndrome is also very common in pregnancy because of that swelling. Sometimes women have to get wrist braces and elevate their legs or undergo hydrostatic pressure, like getting in a swimming pool or a bathtub, to feel better. Those conditions alone are not dangerous, but they are something that we do see in mid- to later-pregnancy.