Pregnancy is full of incredible physical symptoms, and your legs are much the same. Leg cramps cause your leg muscles to tighten uncontrollably, resulting in severe spasms and cramping. You may find it difficult to get up and walk around when one hits because it can linger for up to 10 minutes.
For up to 24 hours after the cramping has subsided, you may still experience discomfort in the affected muscle. In the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, leg cramps are more common, and they most often occur at night.
Why am I having leg cramps during pregnancy?
Starting with the reasons of these pains is a good place to begin in order to get relief.
1.Changes in circulation
Circulation slows down during pregnancy, which is completely natural and not cause for alarm. Overactive hormones are a part of the problem. Hormones are a gift that keeps on giving for the entire 40 weeks and beyond.
Increased blood volume also adds to sluggish circulation in the later stages of pregnancy. It may lead to cramps and swelling.
According to Marham it’s recommended that you consume 8 to 12 cups of water a day when pregnant. Be on the lookout for dark yellow pee as a sign that you’re dehydrated (it should be clear or nearly clear).
Leg cramps can be increased and made worse by dehydration. Try drinking more water if you’re feeling them.
Gather valuable medical advice quickly and easily by contacting Marham. pk, a Pakistani healthcare portal.
Pregnancy can put a strain on your nerves and blood vessels, especially those that supply your legs. In the third trimester, you’re more likely to have leg cramps because of this increased risk.
Leg cramps can be avoided throughout pregnancy if you maintain a healthy weight gain and engage in regular physical activity.
To be expected, as you gain weight in the second and third trimesters, your body will get increasingly fatigued as you prepare to give birth to a little human being. Leg cramps can occur as a result of the increased strain on your muscles.
You can definitely avoid leg cramps caused by muscle tiredness, if you drink lots of water, go for a walk during the day, and stretch before bed.
5.A deficiency of calcium or magnesium
Leg cramps can be intensified by a diet low in calcium or magnesium.
Pregnant women may not require an additional supplement if they are currently taking a prenatal vitamin. Taking magnesium or calcium supplements had no effect on leg cramps, according to a review of research involving 390 pregnant women published in 2015.
6.DVT blood clot
A blood clot called a DVT can form in the legs, thighs, or pelvis. DVT is five to ten times more common in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women. Despite the fact that it’s unlikely that you’ll ever get one, experts can’t stress enough how important it is to be educated.
How to get rid of cramps
The specific cause of leg cramps during pregnancy is unknown, but you can take preventative measures to alleviate the discomfort you may be experiencing. For instance,
- Stretch your calf muscles. Pregnancy leg cramps may be alleviated by stretching before going to sleep. Place your hands on the wall in front of you and move your right foot behind your left foot while you stand at arm’s length from the wall. Keeping your right knee and heel on the floor, slowly bend your left leg forward. The stretch should be held for around 30 seconds with your back straight and your hips moving forward to prevent any pain or discomfort. Make sure you don’t move your feet in or out.
- Keep your body moving. Pregnant women who engage in regular physical activity may be less likely to suffer from leg cramps. Prior to beginning an exercise routine, ensure sure your doctor has given their approval.
- Take a magnesium supplement. Pregnancy leg cramps may be alleviated by taking a magnesium supplement, according to some studies. Make sure you have the OK from your doctor before using a supplement. There are plenty more magnesium-rich foods you may include in your diet in addition to these.
- Stay hydrated. Cramping can be prevented by drinking enough of fluids to keep your muscles hydrated. If you’re well hydrated, your urine should be clear or light yellow in color. If your urine is a darker yellow color, you may be dehydrated.
- Get enough calcium in your diet. Leg cramps during pregnancy may be related to low blood calcium levels, according to some studies. A daily calcium intake of 1,000 mg is recommended for all women, even those who are pregnant.
- Consider your footwear options. Comfort, support, and function should all be considered when purchasing shoes. There are some shoes that have a solid heel counter, which helps to keep your foot in place by encircling your heel.
- Stretching before bed. Leg cramps can be prevented or alleviated by stretching the calf muscles before going to sleep at night.
- Sleep with a pillow between your knees: This posture helps enable blood flow through a main vein carrying blood to the heart and back. This position may also help alleviate stress.
- Use Heat Therapy. Pregnancy leg cramps might be eased by taking warm showers and baths before bedtime. To alleviate the pain, use a heat compress, such as a hot water bottle or a warm towel wrapped around your calf.
When to see your doctor
Severe and chronic pain (as well as swelling, warmth or redness in the area) should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a type of blood clot that develops in only a small percentage of people.
Leg cramps aren’t a fun part of being pregnant. A lot of people experience it, especially at night. Take a look at our suggestions; we believe they’ll be beneficial. Help is available for pregnant women who are experiencing leg cramps. If you’re unsure about what you should do, speak with your best gynecologist doctor.
1.What do pregnancy leg cramps feel like?
Leg cramps occur when a muscle rapidly shortens and tightens, most commonly in the calf muscles or foot (spasms). You may find it difficult to get up and walk around when one hits because it can linger for up to 10 minutes.
2.What causes leg cramps?
Cramping is a sudden contraction of the muscles in your leg, which can be painful. A spasm occurs when you lose control of a muscle. Anywhere from seconds to ten minutes is typical for a cramp. The injured muscle can be controlled again once the spasm subsides.
3.Why do leg cramps happen at night?
The most common causes of nighttime leg cramps are muscle exhaustion and a malfunction of the peripheral nervous system. You can notice that leg cramps at night are more common among pregnant women.