pregnancy

‘I’m pregnant and I can’t get my wedding ring off!’

If your body hasn’t morphed in the last three to six months into an unrecognisable but of course beautiful shape, how do you even know you’re pregnant?

It’s a metamorphosis every woman who’s been pregnant knows all too well. It starts with a growing belly… then breasts… then limbs… and inevitably, toes and fingers.

This is because some retention of fluid is normal in most pregnancies, according to Dr Philippa Costley, a Melbourne OB/GYN. (However, severe oedema can be associated with complications such as pre-eclampsia, so always check this with your healthcare professional).

As many women who’ve experienced the advanced stages of a pregnancy know, swelling of the fingers can come on almost overnight – meaning that you can go to bed wearing your wedding ring, and wake up the next morning to discover it’s more difficult to take off for a shower, or even painfully restrictive.

And you may wiggle and wriggle it, twist and poke it, and it just won’t budge. You could go to a jeweller to have it cut off professionally, or to hospital to have it ‘hacked off’ in an emergency room – but both of those options may seem a little drastic at first – especially as you’re probably too exhausted to move.

So what’s a girl to do? Here are the best suggestions we heard from mums who’ve been through the same thing:

1. The elevation method

Try elevating your arms above shoulder level for a minute to drain any fluid away from the finger tips, which can make the ring easier to slip off.

Turn it into a dance. via GIPHY

2. Ice, ice baby

Apply ice to your finger, and/or soak your hand in bowl of ice; essentially, give it an ice bath. And not just for a minute – do it for at least a few. It may not be the most comfortable thing to do, but the resulting reduction in swelling will hopefully mean your ring can once again be easily removed.

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3. “Slippery when wet”: lubricant

Lubricant will most definitely help your ring slide off. Whether it’s moisturiser, soap, olive oil or butter, adding a bit of lube will help the ring slide over your skin.

4. Windex

You may not feel comfortable using a chemical spray when you’re pregnant, but some women swear by using Windex. Not only is it a lubricant, but it apparently has properties which can make skin contract.

So spray and bit on the ring itself, and when it runs between the metal and your skin, wriggle it around – and of course, wash your hands immediately after.

5. Floss it

Using this nifty trick with dental floss, or thin string, as shown in this video, can be a simple, non-chemical, and effective way to remove a stubborn ring.

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6. Next level to string: compression tape

This is essentially the same  technique as the string method, but you’re using over-the-counter First Aid compression tape, to help reduce the swelling in your finger. In America, this has been referred to as “the Coban method”, and a few mums said it was effective for them – but always seek advice from your healthcare professional, or pharmacist, first.

And most importantly, when you finally get the ring off, pay attention to yourself, and not just your precious jewellery – and ensure that you clean the area and seek medical attention if it doesn’t look healthy.

Good luck, and welcome to one of the first of many inconveniences you’ll experience as a mum!

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