You may already have a hard time catching a good night’s sleep, with so many pregnancy symptoms, and your belly getting bigger each day.
Just when you think you have every symptom of pregnancy in the book, here comes the leg cramps.
Don’t worry! It’s normal, and you are not alone. Many women experience leg cramps in pregnancy. Keep on reading this article to learn why pregnancy cramps happen and what you can do to avoid them.
Why Do You Have Pregnancy Cramps?
Leg cramps are a type of pain that occurs when a muscle shortens and tightens quickly. It occurs commonly in the calf muscles or the foot.
They might last anywhere from a few seconds to ten minutes, and they can make it difficult for you to move. Even after the leg cramp has passed, you may experience muscle pain for up to 24 hours.
Why Pregnancy Cramps are Happening Anyway: A Pregnancy Symptom?
Leg cramps are common in pregnant women, with 30 to 50 percent experiencing them. Study shows that leg cramps usually emerge in the third trimester.
You may experience these cramps mainly at night — just when you’d like to get the sleep you’re probably craving — and feel tightness in your calf, foot, or both areas. Some women also experience them after sitting in one position for an extended amount of time.
The good news is that your cramps should go away once your baby is born.
What are the Reasons Behind Leg Cramps During Pregnancy?
Let’s understand why leg cramps during pregnancy occur. Here are some of the reasons:
Circulation slows during pregnancy, which is completely normal and not cause for concern.
It’s a result of overactive hormones, in part. By now, you’re undoubtedly aware that hormones are a present that keeps on giving for the entire 40 weeks — and beyond.
Your body also experiences a rise in blood volume in the latter trimesters, which contributes to slow circulation. Legs may swell and cramp as a result of this.
Quick check: Are you drinking enough water in your pregnancy?
Ideally, you should drink 8 to 12 cups of water per day when pregnant. Keep an eye out for signs of dehydration, such as dark yellow pee (it should be clear or nearly clear).
Leg cramps can be exacerbated by dehydration. If you’re having trouble with them, try increasing your daily water intake.
Your nerves and blood vessels, especially those in your legs, can be harmed by the pressure exerted by your growing baby. This is why leg cramps become more common as your pregnancy advances, particularly in the third trimester.
You can avoid leg cramps by gaining a healthy amount of weight and being active during pregnancy.
It’s natural to feel fatigued throughout pregnancy. After all, you’re creating a little human!
This is especially true when your weight increases in the second and third trimesters. Leg cramps might occur as your muscles become exhausted as a result of the increased pressure.
To avoid leg cramps caused by muscle tiredness, drink lots of water, go for a walk during the day, and stretch before bed.
Leg cramps might be caused by a lack of calcium or magnesium in your diet.
However, if you’re currently taking a prenatal vitamin, you probably don’t need to take another one. Researchers have discovered that taking magnesium or calcium supplements have little to no effect on leg cramps.
Consult your doctor if you’re concerned you’re not receiving enough of these nutrients. You’re presumably getting labs done on a regular basis, so having these levels checked isn’t a bad idea.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Leg Cramps During Pregnancy
Are there any home remedies to get rid of these uncomfortable leg cramps during pregnancy? Definitely yes!!!
Gentle workouts like walking or swimming, as well as specific exercises like calf lifts and walking on the spot, can assist improve blood flow in the legs and prevent cramping.
Moderate exercise is beneficial during pregnancy because it allows your body to adjust to the physical changes that occur.
You could try exercises that target your foot and leg muscles, such as:
- Bending and stretching your foot up and down for 30 times
- Rotating your foot 8 times one way and 8 times the other, repeating with the other foot
- Stretching your leg muscles before bedtime may help reduce nighttime cramps
Avoid sitting or standing in one position for a long time. Move around. Don’t sit with your legs crossed or other ways that may hamper blood flow.
Drink Lots of Water
It’s critical to drink enough water during pregnancy to avoid dehydration, which can cause those dreadful leg cramps.
During pregnancy, drink 8 to 12 cups of water per day. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but it’s critical for a variety of reasons.
Apply Heat to the Cramping Area
Apply heat to the muscle that is cramping. It may aid in the relief of the cramp. There’s no need to spend money on a sophisticated heating pad when you simply fill a microwave-safe fabric bag (or a sock) with rice.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
During the day, wear a pair of compression socks to assist minimize swelling in your ankles and feet by increasing circulation in your lower extremities.
Get a Massage
When you have a leg cramp, self-massage can assist relieve the pain. Gently massage your calf or any other cramped area of your leg with one hand.
To relieve your cramp, do this self-massage for 30 seconds to a minute.
A prenatal massage is also an option, and it can be a truly beautiful experience.
Take a Well-Balanced Diet
Take a well-balanced food full of minerals and vitamins.
It should include lots of calcium, so try yogurt. It may also help with pregnancy constipation.
Take magnesium as well. Bananas are full of it.
Putting it All Together!
Leg cramps are a typical symptom of pregnancy. This doesn’t make having them any easier, but it should dial down the stress level. Mention it at your next prenatal exam if you’re worried about your pain or if it’s causing you to lose too much sleep.
If your leg cramps are severe, persistent, or getting worse, call your doctor. It’s possible that you’ll need vitamins or medication.
If you have severe swelling in one or both legs, pain walking, or swollen veins, seek medical care right away. These signs and symptoms could indicate the presence of a blood clot.
Consult a well-known gynecologist in Lahore to treat yourself for pregnancy cramps. Book an appointment via Healthwire.pk or call at (042) 32500989.