UK survey finds most mums experience aches and pains but were unprepared
The nursery may be planned, the baby equipment already bought, however many women expecting a new baby don’t realise they may face pregnancy related back and leg pain.
A survey, commissioned by Deep Freeze Cold Patch – the drug-free alternative for fast muscular relief – has found that 78 per cent of pregnant women and new mums sometimes or always experience lower leg pain during pregnancy. Yet only around a third (36%) had any inkling of this before becoming pregnant.
This e-news will shine a spotlight on pregnancy muscular woes and discuss expert advice from midwife, Emma Herbert.
Why is muscular pain linked to pregnancy?
The second and third trimester are the most common periods for muscular problems, like lower back pain and swollen feet. This maybe due to the release of hormones during pregnancy that relax the ligaments and increase blood volume.
Weight gain, being on your feet all day working or looking after other children and the growing baby can put extra pressure on your legs and feet too, which can lead to feelings of discomfort.
The Deep Freeze survey found that half of women with muscular aches noticed these in the second or third trimester, while 15 per cent got them in the first trimester. Just under one in ten (8%) still had muscular pains after their babies were born, showing that this can be a long-term issue for some women.
Midwife, Emma Herbert, and an advisor to Deep Freeze Cold Patch, says: “Women have so many extra things to deal with during pregnancy. Hospital appointments, preparation for the new baby, new dietary requirements and the list can goes on.
“Most women continue to work and sometimes don’t always have enough time to put their feet up. So dealing with muscular pains can be an added worry.”.
Top to toe
While more than six in 10 (64%) of women had heard about back ache before getting pregnant, only around a third (36%) were actually prepared for lower leg pains, despite half being warned by their friends what to expect.
The most common areas of discomfort for pregnant women with lower leg pain were:
- Legs (46%)
- Ankle (21%)
- Foot (18%)
- Knees (14%).
Symptoms included aching muscles (61%), swelling (49%) and tenderness (45%). More than six in 10 (65%) said that pregnancy back and leg niggles had stopped them picking up their other children or getting down on the floor to play with them.
Emma Herbert comments: “Getting relief from these nagging symptoms can be difficult, especially as women will tend to avoid over-the-counter medication while pregnant. Interestingly, the Deep Freeze survey found that half of women said their leg pains got worse when they were standing for too long but a third found that sitting also exacerbated the symptoms”.
Save time with cooling therapy
Pregnant women and new mums are often suffering in silence and accepting leg and back niggles as part and parcel of bearing children. The Deep Freeze survey found that nine out of 10 women said they put other family member’s needs before their own.
While four in 10 women take a hot back or sit down to rest when experiencing pregnancy aches and pains, many women don’t have time for this with a third saying they never get a moment to themselves.
Midwife, Emma Herbert, suggests: “A quicker option is to apply a non-medicinal topical cooling product – such as Deep Freeze Cold Patch – directly to the area of discomfort. Patches don’t need to be held onto the body, like a bag of frozen peas or gel bag from the freezer, so you can apply it and get on with your day.
“Also, unlike ice, which can only be tolerated for short periods of time and needs to be used carefully to avoid damaging the skin, the Deep Freeze Cold Patch is scientifically proven and can be left safely in place for up to 3 hours to provide long lasting cooling relief, even during the night.
“Other options are to wear compression stockings and shoes with arch support. Also working from home it’s always a good idea to have your work space adjusted as the pregnancy advances to make it more comfortable, such as a comfortable adjustable chair, a foot rest and a suitable functioning desk.”
Deep Freeze Cold Patch Cooling System
Deep Freeze Cold Patch is a convenient alternative to ice packs for long lasting cold therapy. The adhesive patch is specially formulated with aloe Vera, menthol fragrance and water, in a hydrogel layer. The water inside the patch slowly evaporates over a number of hours to generate lasting, soothing, cooling relief.
Deep Freeze Cold Patch works like ice, but unlike ice, it is convenient, does not burn and can be left in place for up to three hours. The patch provides cooling, soothing relief, and cold therapy on the go for up to 3 hours.
So, why not just apply the ubiquitous pack of frozen peas? Emma Herbert explains: “You do get skin and muscle cooling from ice but most people can’t tolerate ice on their skin for long and prolonged application can even cause skin burns. In comparison, a Deep Freeze Cold Patch can be left in place for up to three hours so it keeps working to cool the area and soothe pain”.
In fact, the dangers of applying ice packs to the skin are well known. One study reported several cases of misdiagnosed muscle injuries where ice packs were left on too long leading to superficial burns. Another report, in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, cautioned against applying ice for more than 10 minutes at a time to avoid “compromising the skin”. However, topical cooling therapy like Deep Freeze Cold Patch has been shown to provide long-term relief by reducing muscular temperature, while remaining comfortable for the skin5.
Deep Freeze Cold Patch advisor, Midwife, Emma Herbert, shares her wealth of experience on how to handle pregnancy-related aches and pains:
- Don’t suffer in silence: While muscular discomfort is to be expected during pregnancy, they don’t have to be endured. Never just put up with it when you are experiencing back ache or leg ache.
- Self-care rules OK: As well as getting the nursery ready, stock up on appropriate products to take care of yourself during pregnancy and new motherhood. This could include non-medicinal topical remedies for muscular pain, nipple cream, body moisturiser and cream for haemorrhoids!
- Cool it: Get on top of leg and back discomfort fast with Deep Freeze Cold Patch which can be worn comfortably for up to 3 hours, and even during the night.
- Keep mobile: You may not fancy aerobics but it’s very important to keep mobile using gentle exercise. Try yoga, walking or any other pregnancy related exercise. Most areas have practitioners who specialise in keeping fit / exercise classes for pregnant mums. Whatever you choose to take part in make sure you have all the appropriate clothes and footwear.
- Posture please: Working from home is now an everyday factor for many of us. As we know poor posture and an advancing pregnancy can lead to backache and shoulder pains. So it’s very important to try to avoid bad posture while using your laptop or mobile phone while working.
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Before using any over the counter medication treatment or taking part in any exercise please consult with your midwife, consultant, or GP for advice.
 Survey of 1,006 nationally representative UK mums and mums-to-be conducted in 2021 by an independent polling company, Perpectus Global.
 Skin burns following cryotherapy in misdiagnosed pediatric injuries – ScienceDirect
Ice therapy: how good is the evidence? – PubMed (nih.gov)
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