Leg Cramps During Pregnancy
Leg cramps - painful involuntary muscle contractions that typically affect the calf, foot, or both - are common during pregnancy, often striking at night during the second and third trimesters.
The exact cause of leg cramps during pregnancy isn't clear, some steps can be taken to prevent them.
Steps to prevent leg cramps:
Stretch your calf muscles:
Stretching before bed might help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy. Stand at arm's length from a wall, place the hands on the wall in front of, and move right foot behind left foot. Slowly bend the left leg forward, keeping the right knee straight and the right heel on the floor. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds, being careful to keep the back straight and hips forward. Don't rotate feet inward or outward. Switch legs and repeat.
Before beginning any exercise, get the permission of the doctor. Regular physical activity might help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy.
Keeping the muscles hydrated might help prevent cramps.
Get adequate calcium:
Reduced levels of calcium in the blood during pregnancy may contribute to leg cramps. All women, including pregnant women, should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day.
Choose proper footwear:
Choose shoes with comfort, support, and utility in mind. It might help to wear shoes with a firm heel counter — the part of the shoe that surrounds the heel and helps lock the foot into the shoe.