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How to avoid leg cramps at night during pregnancy?

Updated on September 1, 2009

One out of many problems with which a pregnant woman has to deal is annoying leg cramp, often waking in the morning or in the middle of the night, but there are ways to control them so read on...

It is likely that leg cramps occur because muscles are tired of carrying around the extra weight or maybe they resent the pressure of the uterus on blood vessels that carry blood back from the legs to the heart and nerves that connect the trunk with the legs.

They appear in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and one of its causes may be the deficit of substances such as calcium and potassium or excess phosphorus in the bloodstream (soft drinks contain much phosphorus) by an inadequate diet. To prevent leg cramps, it is necessary to amend our diet or taking any nutritional supplement.

At first you can try drinking a glass of milk before going to bed (very high in calcium), or eat a banana (rich in potassium). Stretching exercises for calves are also important and should be done before bed, pulling the toes upward with the leg straight, slowly so that there are no muscle aches.

If you wake up with a very strong leg cramp in the morning, stretch the muscle slowly bringing the toes towards the face with straight legs. It may hurt at first, but then the cramp will disappear. It can also helped by a hot water bottle placed on the cramp or a massage on the calves before bed.

Leg cramps during pregnancy
Leg cramps during pregnancy

Avoiding cramps during pregnancy

Cramps are one of the most common symptoms during pregnancy and usually occur at night, when we are resting and its intensity depends on the activity during the day and differs in person to person.

When this happens, your doctor may recommend that you do exercise and also take vitamin supplements containing vitamin B1, B6, calcium and magnesium. If you are already taking, another option is to take massage, stretching, yoga, or steam bathing.

In some cases it is necessary to include vitamin supplements, especially if the cramps are a thing of every day. Talk to your obstetrician for you to indicate vitamin B1, B6, calcium or magnesium.

If the discomfort is minor, change posture, sit down and put your legs straight up to your hips while gently flexed.

But if the pains are very strong, you can do some very gentle exercises to relax the muscles. Also useful are the essences baths with anti-inflammatory and analgesic intake recommended by the obstetrician.

If they are much more severe, it is very important to see a specialist to rule out any problems in the spine.

Drink plenty of water, at least 2 liters a day.

Always trying to maintain good posture is also recommended that mobilizes your body with stretching exercises and muscle toning.

If you have never exercised and are planning for a baby, before pregnancy can start with any activity always smoothly, such as yoga, swimming, walking and aqua gym.

Before going to bed, lengthen the muscles through gentle stretching exercises that do not generate over-exertion.

Try to walk a bit and do not spend much time sitting cross-legged as it is essential to promote circulation.

Get massaged from any message facility into the affected area, if you cannot ask your partner to do it for you.

Try eating a diet rich in potassium and this mineral is found abundantly in bananas.

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    • soni2006 profile image
      Author

      Rajinder Soni 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks Sunny for the praise and motivation to write more articles like these.

    • profile image

      sunny 4 years ago

      lots of good information ...thanks.....

    • profile image

      jabeen 5 years ago

      very nice Hub TAN-Q

    • soni2006 profile image
      Author

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks anglnwu..

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 8 years ago

      Lots of good information. Good hub.

    • soni2006 profile image
      Author

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks a lot Veronica Allen

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Very informative. I myself suffered from leg cramps during both of my pregnancies, and the tips you provided are very accurate!