One of the problems and stresses that pregnant women struggle with is the problem of leg cramps during pregnancy. In general, muscle pain and spasm in women during this sensitive period cause them a lot of mental anxiety. This is especially true when it is accompanied by bleeding, nausea, excessive and abnormal swelling, etc.
But leg cramps hurt more than anything else, leading to anxiety and psychological panic. But there is no need to be worried. Like other pregnancy symptoms, there are home remedies for leg cramps during pregnancy. Join us for more information.
What is Leg Cramps during Pregnancy?
Leg or foot cramps during pregnancy are normal but sometimes distressing for pregnant women. A muscle cramp is a sudden and severe pain usually occurring in the arms or legs. Cramps refer to a time when your muscles should not contract, but this happens annoyingly and affects your mood.
Muscle cramps are occasionally felt during the day but often occur due to fatigue from the daily activities and more sitting at night. In general, leg cramps during third trimester are more common. These conditions are annoying for pregnant women and can stress them a lot.
What are the Causes of Leg Cramps during Pregnancy?
There are many reasons for muscle cramps in pregnancy:
- Pregnancy weight gain due to carrying a baby
- Abnormal changes in the body's metabolism
- Vitamin deficiency
- High levels of phosphorus and calcium or magnesium deficiency in the diet
- Excessive activity or insufficient activity
- Compression of blood vessels in the legs
- Pregnancy-specific hormones which cause much pain
Leg Cramps During Pregnancy Third Trimester
Leg cramps usually begin in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Leg cramps are more common in the second half of pregnancy. At this time, a woman's weight, swelling, and general fatigue are at their highest.
This can cause many sleep disorders. Unfortunately, most women experience leg cramps by the end of pregnancy. Doing pregnancy exercises, a nutritious diet, and drinking plenty of water to reduce leg cramps can help control these conditions.
However, sometimes a woman may have leg cramps in the first trimester of pregnancy. This is due to a change in the process of calcium absorption by the body. A lot of the calcium in your diet is used by your body to help your baby's bones, teeth, and other organs grow. This can increase your body's need for calcium, weakening your bones and muscles and making you feel cramped.
Methods of Treating Leg Muscle Cramps in Pregnancy
Do gentle exercises such as walking, swimming, and aerobics (stay active)
Regular and moderate exercise is a good idea because it helps the body adapt to the physical changes occurring during pregnancy. An important point in pregnancy cramps is insufficient blood circulation. This can prevent blood from reaching the lower extremities, resulting in swelling and cramping.
Perform stretching exercises
Doing stretching exercises, especially in the leg area, helps strengthen the blood flow to the legs. Ultimately, this can help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy. Stretching the calf muscles before bed can also help prevent cramps at night. Here are two examples of exercises that can help prevent and treat leg cramps:
- Sit on the floor and stretch your legs forward. Now take turns bending and straightening your legs while gently pulling your ankles and toes towards your calves. You can do this exercise in bed.
- Just before going to bed, stand against a wall. Move slightly away from the wall and place the palm of your hands on it. Put your heel in the floor. Bend forward, keep your heels on the ground, and stretch your legs. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, then rest for 5 seconds. You can also try this exercise 3 times a day. Be careful to stop the activity immediately when the pain starts.
Please remember to go through all the exercises with your doctor's advice.
Do periodic and intermittent activity throughout the day
During pregnancy, be sure to write a plan to relieve spasms. additionally, allocate certain periods of the day to physical activity. In return, set aside time to relax and rest.
Drink plenty of water
Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Most pregnant women need 8 to 10 glasses of water and fluids daily but ask your doctor if you need more water.
Eat a balanced diet
Eat a balanced diet. Your diet should include plenty of calcium and magnesium. Eating a lot of yogurt is recommended to provide calcium because yogurt also helps relieve constipation during pregnancy. To provide magnesium to your body, bananas are recommended.
Consume prenatal vitamin
Take vitamins every day during early pregnancy. This will ensure that you and your baby get all the necessary vitamins and minerals during pregnancy. Magnesium supplements may also be helpful. But to take it, first talk to your doctor about whether this supplement is compatible with your condition or not.
Massage to treat leg cramps
One of the best treatment options is massage. Another solution is to massage the muscle tightly and walk around for a while. You can even get help from your spouse to do this for you (stop the massage if you feel extra leg pain).
When to See a Doctor for Leg Cramps During Pregnancy?
Sometimes home remedies for leg cramps during pregnancy do not work. In these cases, it is necessary to talk to a doctor.
When these muscle spasms interfere with your daily life and result in sleep disorders, or when they cause severe and persistent pain and lead to psychological distress, (in addition to swelling, heat, or redness in the muscles) it must be considered a serious warning. Be sure to see your obstetrician as soon as possible. In very rare cases, you may have a blood clot in a vein called Deep Thrombosis (DVT) that needs medical attention!
This was a detailed explanation of spasms and leg cramps during pregnancy. As you have read, leg cramps are perfectly normal in pregnancy/. In most cases, this condition does not require treatment unless it is accompanied by abnormal swelling, severe vaginal bleeding, or severe pain in the abdomen and lower back.
You can get through this stressful yet sweet period more easily with light, regular physical activity. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and plenty of water would also help. The most important thing is to have a strong and fresh spirit. This way you can make the days of pregnancy one of the most memorable periods of your life!