Suffering with leg cramps during your pregnancy? This is the most common occurrence for most of the women during their pregnancy period.
Half of the pregnant women will suffer from muscle spasms in their legs with more frequent cramping during the evenings.
Reasons behind leg cramps during pregnancy:
Most of the leg cramps are due to the fatigue of carrying extra weight. As your weight increases, your cramps can also increase.
Also, cramps can be annoyed by the growing size of the uterus that puts pressure on the blood vessels, which carry the blood from the legs to the heart and nerves leading to the legs. You will suffer from leg cramps at any time of the day, but you will experience great discomfort at bedtime.
Some people believe that too little consumption of potassium, calcium and too much consumption of phosphorous can lead to leg cramps during pregnancy. But, there is no evidence that proves this effect.
Diet changes to decrease leg cramps during pregnancy:
It is better to increase the calcium consumption during the pregnancy period and also avoid high phosphorous consumption, which is found in processed meat, soft drinks, sodas and snack foods.
High phosphorous consumption prevents your body from absorbing the calcium that you ingest. Also, consume the foods rich in potassium such as bananas and the foods rich in calcium such as green leafy vegetables, dairy products, almonds, tofu and fish.
Precautionary measures to avoid leg cramps during pregnancy:
- Drink more and more water.
- Don’t sit or stand by keeping crossed legs for longer periods.
- Try to spin your ankles and wriggle your toes during the times you sit for extended periods.
- Lie down on your left side so that the blood circulation will be improved.
- Try to wear supportive stockings.
- Take rest whenever you feel tired and keep your legs elevated as much as possible.
- Try to take a walk every day at least for 10 minutes as this can greatly help in decreasing the cramps.
- Before going to bed, take a warm shower to relax your muscles.
- You can take magnesium supplements along with the prenatal vitamins if your doctor permits. Studies proved that magnesium is beneficial in treating the leg cramps.
- Massaging your calves and feet can greatly help in decreasing leg cramps [foot therapy].
- Apply warm compress to your feet.
- Avoid pointing your toes when you crawl into the bed.
It is better to contact your healthcare provider if your leg cramps are severe or remain consistent. Your practitioner can prescribe additional supplements or medications.