Leg cramps during pregnancy left you without a leg to stand on? You’re not alone.
Luckily, you’re getting the best sleep of your life, so this is just a minor inconvenience. Okay, okay! We’re just pulling your leg. It’s nothing like that. There’s already a multitude of zzzz interruptions in your life and leg cramping during pregnancy is yet another. What fun.
So who invited these excruciating visitors, and what can you do to send them packing? Let’s take a look.
Leg pains pregnancy style
What causes leg cramps in pregnancy?
Leg cramps during pregnancy can stem from a variety of different sources, ranging from circulation issues; to mineral deficiencies (think potassium, calcium, magnesium); to that little one inside you getting on your nerves (literally).
They can strike in various parts of the leg and foot:
Calves pain during pregnancy
If you’re wondering whether charley horse and pregnancy go together, yes indeed they do. Those weird little spasms are an oh-so-specific kind of torture, and the pain can be surprisingly severe.
This particular breed of cramping can be the result of the extra weight that pregnancy has gifted you, or something as mundane as shoes that aren’t doing the right thing for you.
Foot cramping during pregnancy
Foot cramping during pregnancy can feel disproportionately agonizing. Often coming in short bursts, these cramps can be seriously disruptive, both when you’re going about your day as well as when you’re trying to sleep.
While it’s more common for leg cramps during pregnancy to happen in the second and third trimesters, unfortunately, mamas-to-be are not off the hook when they’re closer to the starting line. The bright side? If leg cramping early pregnancy symptoms strike, you’ll be well versed in how to deal with them by the time you get to the end.
Now, onto even more important matters:
What can you do about leg cramps during pregnancy?
If you’re wondering ‘seriously, how do you get rid of leg cramps during pregnancy?’, the good news is that there are a bunch of home remedies to help you. Hopefully you’ll be back on your feet in no time.
- Get moving. Although this may be the last thing you feel like, getting some good old fashioned exercise can go a long way. And don’t stress. There is no marathon running or heavy training on the menu. Little walks around the block? Yoga? Sounds like a plan.
- Get hydrated. Dehydration can be the cause of all sorts of cramps. Try upping your liquid intake, and see if that helps. (Just don’t drink too much too quickly or your digestive system may respond with an evacuation order.)
- Get nourished. Leg cramps during pregnancy can be the result of a nutrient deficiency, most specifically of magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Speak to your doctor about supplements and/or up your intake of some pretty delicious sources. Who doesn’t love avocado on everything? Nuts, fish, and all things green are a good idea here too.
And more specifically:
How can I prevent leg cramps at night during pregnancy?
A good calf stretch before bed can go a long way towards preventing leg cramps at night during pregnancy.
And if you’re still attacked by the dreaded spasms, a hot bath or shower may do well to relieve your immediate tension. It may also help to take a little walk around your room, and then elevate your leg after that.
Or if you have a partner at the ready who is willing to give you a little massage, don’t think twice about taking them up on the offer. This is no time to put on a brave face.