I'll never forget the first time I experienced vertigo. I was about six months pregnant, sitting down, when all of a sudden the room started spinning. It only lasted for a couple of seconds, but the sensation was so intense, I had to concentrate really hard not to fall over. That's right. I literally almost fell over, onto the floor, from a sitting position. I thought for a second how that might have looked to everyone else in the room. Down she goes — timberrrr. I remember asking myself, "Why am I so clumsy during pregnancy? I definitely was not this clumsy before." (Actually that's debatable.) But what is it about pregnancy that makes us so clumsy? I did some research into the subject and checked in with a pregnancy expert to see if this was an actual pregnancy thing, or just my imagination.
According to the What to Expect website, it's totally normal for pregnant women to feel more clumsy than usual, and there are many factors that go into all those clumsy little moments that you hope no one just saw. So, don't worry. It's not you, it's them. The hormones, the body changes, even the baby — or babies.
An article on the What to Expect website suggested that "many women feel clumsier during the second trimester of pregnancy, when their baby bumps are really starting to grow." While my second trimester is when I had my first bout of vertigo, I know I felt significantly less coordinated than usual as early as my first trimester. What to Expect noted that this is due to the hormone changes and fatigue that begins in the first trimester. Which makes total sense, right?
I checked in with registered nurse, doula, and pregnancy expert, Ashlyn Biedebach of By The Brook Birth Doula, for some more info and pointers for moms who just can't shake the butter fingers (or should we say butter feet). Biedebach tells Romper in an email, "Once your bump starts growing, your center of gravity changes and with that, your balance can be thrown off." While baby bumps can look super cute, they can be contributing to your lack of coordination. And no wonder — It's hard getting around with a beach ball attached to your waist.
But it's not just your bump causing issues. "One of the hormones that surges in pregnancy is relaxin, which helps your muscles and joints move for your uterus, and eventually for birth. This hormone can cause your body to feel a little less secure and can also attribute to pregnancy clumsiness," Biedebach says. Thanks a lot, hormones. When it comes to postpartum hormones, Biedebach explains that while you'll still experience hormone changes and fatigue, you'll likely feel less off-balance, which is a huge relief for any pregnant mama.
If you're feeling the "pregnant clumsies," Biedebach has some great tips. She says you should make sure you're aware of any potential trip hazards on the floor, be sure to rest when you're feeling dizzy or tired, and remember to stay active and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. If you're a busy mama who forgets to drink enough water, you're not alone, but staying hydrated is key to feeling well. Some safe remedies that may help with the clumsiness are belly lifts that you can wear to potentially help lift your belly keep you feeling balanced. And don't forget to be careful going down stairs and stepping on and off of street curbs. If you fall and suspect an injury, always check in with a doctor immediately.
While pregnancy certainly isn't the most glamorous or graceful time of our lives, it is a wonderful time feeling your body change while it creates the precious little life inside of you. It's really quite amazing actually. I mean, your body is working hard. You're literally making a person — a little clumsiness is really just a mild side effect.