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bones, increasing the woman’s risk of osteoporosis and related problems. The expanding uterus compresses the ribs, causing rib pain later in pregnancy.
leading to numb or sore fingers and thumbs, sometimes to the point where it’s difficult for a woman to use her hands. Many women get sciatica as the extra weight, fluids, and the baby herself press against the sciatic nerve, causing sharp shooting pains down the legs. Some women also experience nearsightedness and an increase in intraocular pressure.
which can decrease women’s grasping reflexes and general coordination. The loose ligaments and the woman’s rapidly changing center-of-gravity are two reasons doctors believe pregnant women are at an increased risk of tripping or falling and recommend women avoid standing on stools or ladders or the like. Many women experience intense leg cramps, especially at night, as the pregnancy progresses. In the later parts of the pregnancy the lower abdominal muscles can feel pulled from the extra weight. Postpartum the abdomen is usually sore and tender as the woman’s body starts to take back its shape.
Of course pregnancy isn’t an illness. It even has some long-term health benefits. But it still can be a very trying situation, even for women with planned, wanted pregnancies. Please keep that in mind as you talk about pregnancy in the context of the abortion debate–or in any context, really.