Leg Cramps during Pregnancy
Leg cramps during pregnancy is one of the common things a pregnant woman will experience especially at night time. The primary cause for leg cramps during pregnancy is the fact that the mother is carrying a lot of weight – her own and her growing baby’s. The leg cramps will worsen as the fetus and the belly gets bigger and bigger. Furthermore, during pregnancy, the uterus grows bigger; it then exerts pressure to the blood vessels causing them to pump out full force towards the legs, hence resulting to leg cramps. The lack of calcium and potassium in the body and too much phosphorus from processed foods taken in, are also factors that largely contribute to the spasm of the muscles causing leg cramps during pregnancy.
Ways to Prevent Leg Cramps during Pregnancy
Expectant mothers often ask their doctors if there are any ways in which they can prevent leg cramps from happening during their pregnancy. It is a possibility; but keep in mind that these are only tips that might help in the prevention. The flow of your blood in response to your pregnancy is beyond anyone’s control. These are some helpful tips one can benefit from in order to possibly prevent leg cramps during pregnancy:
• Avoid crossing your legs while sitting down for a long period of time. Try walking from time to time; stretch your legs and calves.
• Practice rotating your ankles and stretching your legs when you sit down to read a book or watch TV, even when you sit down to eat dinner with your family.
• When sleeping, try lying down on your left side to allow good circulation of the blood on your legs.
• Upon waking up, do some stretching exercises with your legs.
• It is also important to stay hydrated to ensure proper circulation of blood in the legs. Remember to take in plenty of fluids every day.
• Take a nice, warm bath daily. Warm water allows your blood vessels to relax allowing good circulation in the body.
• Wear supportive stockings on your legs to prevent it from swelling and cramping.
• Eat right and eat foods that are rich in potassium, like banana.
Leg Cramps during Pregnancy-how to alleviate the pain
If pain from leg cramps during pregnancy persists, here are ways to relieve the aches:
• Hot compress will initially relieve the blood vessels and will help relieve the pain from the leg cramps. Just make sure that the water’s not too hot so as not to burn your skin.
• Take a relaxing walk to exercise the muscles in your legs.
• Stretch your legs where the cramping is felt. Perform this by stretching your leg heel first then slowly flex your toes directing it towards your shin. By doing this, you will feel pain but will eventually go away.
Leg cramps during pregnancy is common and quite normal for expectant females. There are ways in order to prevent this from happening and ways on how to manage it in case it happens. Bottom line is, it is nothing to be worried about. But if the pain gets worse or persists, that is the time to seek medical attention.