We love seeing cute babies, don’t we? Well, carrying a baby for nine months is not easy at all. For the first few months, you may be faced with heartburn and morning sickness. After that phase, you will experience leg cramps.
Most pregnant women experience leg cramps, especially during their third trimester. According to NCBI, 50% of pregnant women will experience muscle spasms during their third trimester.
These cramps usually feel like tightening of the calf muscles and occur mainly in the latter half of the pregnancy or at night — RACHEL ADAMS, MD, OB/GYN
Causes of Leg Cramps During Pregnancy
Cramps come mostly at night—that very moment when you finally want to get some sleep and you start feeling tightness in your calf and foot. You are also likely to experience leg cramps when you sit in a particular position for too long. Other causes of leg cramps are:
The circulation of a woman during pregnancy slows because her hormones are overactive during pregnancy.
Also, during your later trimester, there may be a high increase in your blood volume. This also causes slow circulation, which would, in turn, lead to leg cramps.
Drinking water is good, and during pregnancy, it becomes necessary. You are expected to drink at least 8 cups of water daily. Once you notice any symptoms of dehydration such as dark yellow urine, it is a sign that you need to increase the amount of water you are drinking as dehydration can cause and worsen leg cramps.
As your baby grows, you will add weight, affecting your nerves and blood vessels (the blood vessels that go into your leg are not left out). This is a direct reason why you are going to experience cramps.
It is normal to feel tired when you are pregnant. Though it gets worse when you gain weight in the second and third trimesters. Fatigue means your muscles are worn out due to added pressure, and this is likely to give you cramps.
How to Prevent Leg Cramps During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a delicate situation, and it is reasonably common for many pregnant women to experience leg cramps all through.
But regardless of how uncomfortable your leg cramps, pregnancy pains, and other aches can be, being pregnant is still a joyous occasion. The good thing is that you can at least relieve these discomforts that you experience while pregnant.
Here are some tips to relieve cramping pregnancy.
- Stretching before bed: Light stretches before going to bed will reduce the chances of you having leg cramps at night.
- Staying hydrated: Drinking a lot of water is necessary when you are pregnant; it keeps you hydrated and reduces your chances of having cramps. Try drinking between 8 to 10 cups of water daily.
- Applying heat: When you feel cramps, apply heat to the area, and it will help ease the cramp. Using a microwave-safe cloth bag could also help.
- Massaging the area: When you are experiencing leg cramps, gently massage the area or ask someone to do it for you.
- Exercising: It is important to stay active during pregnancy, mild exercise will help your muscles and reduce the possibility of having cramps. However, do not overdo it. Indulge in only safe pregnancy activities like walking, yoga or swimming.
- Avoiding inactivity: Staying in a place for too long will lead to leg cramps. So even if you have nothing to do, walk around every hour, or engage in activities that won’t consume your energy.
There’s no need to go through your pregnancy feeling overweight, unattractive and lacking energy. These simple preventive measures are sufficient to counter this problem.
So, are you in search of health and pregnancy tips? Let’s guide you every step of the way. Visit us now at www.cribmd.com.