Cold Hands and Feet

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I just found out I was pregnant last Monday. I am just going in to my 5th week. Over the weekend my hands and feet feel like they have been immersed in ice and stay cold. On top of that first thing in the morning and when I am very tired I have a "pins and needles" sensation in my hands.

I have not experienced anything like this before and am a little concerned. This is not affecting me as far as day to day activities, its more annoying then anything.

ANSWER

Congratulations and welcome to pregnancy!

Your circulation will change during pregnancy, and I think you are just the lucky winner of the "circulation problem" prize.

You are right, what you describe is annoying but not dangerous. You can try lifting the affected limb higher than your heart for a few minutes and see if that helps. Otherwise, until your system sorts it all out, you may just have to deal with being annoyed, sorry :-(.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.