All About You
While your pregnancy clumsiness may be frustrating, at least you have something to show for it! Your belly grows day by day as your unborn baby gets bigger. If you haven't bought maternity pants yet, you're probably thinking about it as you can barely button your jeans.
In your 15th week of pregnancy, your uterus is halfway between your pubic bone and belly button. You may feel Braxton Hicks contractions. These painless and random contractions can be thought of as your body warming up for the big event of birth. If you have more than five per hour, if they come at a steady pace, or if they're accompanied by intense cramps or backaches, call the doctor.
You finally look pregnant! As your bump grows, your internal organs are shifting positions to make room for your baby-to-be. Less room means you may not be able to eat large meals, but instead you'll need to eat more frequently to stay satisfied. Because of cramped tummy space, you may have heartburn, indigestion, and flatulence. Your blood flow has increased to provide extra nutrients—meaning more trips to the bathroom for you. You may also notice that you're retaining water.
Dropped anything lately? Tripped over nothing? Forget something you always remember—like the date? You may be experiencing a common complaint in pregnancy—scatterbrain. "Some of my patients call it 'placenta brain,'" says Dr. Joanne Motino Bailey, PhD, a certified nurse-midwife and a professor of women's studies at the University of Michigan. While there are no studies to support the existence of pregnancy scatterbrain, notes Dr. Bailey, there are some changes in your body which may account for your sudden clumsiness.
Changing center of gravity: The first reason you may be stumbling is obvious—you're getting bigger. As your belly grows outward, your whole center of gravity is thrown. After walking perfectly for years, your body now has to constantly realign itself to keep you upright—no wonder you're tripping.
While your baby-to-be is well cushioned in your belly, falling wouldn't be good for either of you. Opt for sneakers or flats instead of high heels. Take stairs slowly. And be mindful of your movements to avoid any serious spills.
Retaining water: Another reason you may think your losing your mind—your gripping sensation may be different because you're retaining water. Your swollen fingers may make it more difficult to pick something up. (Think about how much harder it is to grab something up with fuzzy gloves on.)
Loosened joints: For your belly to house your growing baby, your skin, muscles, and joints stretch and loosen. A pregnancy hormone, appropriately called relaxin, triggers this change. Just like you need to keep in mind your changing center of gravity, remember that your muscles aren't as tight as in pre-pregnancy days—take it easy!
Fatigue: "We all know that we're not at our best when we're tired," says Dr. Bailey. "During pregnancy your body is under a great deal of stress, but it's hard to take the time out for an extra hour of sleep, which is really what you need." So it's not surprising that your constant state of tiredness may leave you not as sharp as in pre-pregnancy days.
If however, you find yourself overly clumsy, let your healthcare provider know about it. There may be something more going on than loose joints and lack of sleep.
You may be now experiencing the happiest pregnancy symptom of all—your baby is most likely a regular wiggler now! You may begin to feel a fluttering in your uterus.