How to Treat the Leg Cramps in Pregnancy
Leg cramps are commonly seen in many pregnant women and many of them may wake up suddenly from their sleep due to these cramps. One of the reasons for these leg cramps is the extra weight gain that happens during pregnancy and the excess pressure this weight exerts on your legs. Leg cramps are most common in the last two trimesters of pregnancy as the uterus enlarges more during this period and the weight of the baby will also increase at this period. This increased weight and enlargement of the uterus exerts pressure on the nerves that goes to the leg and also on the blood vessels directing towards the legs. This reduces the blood supply and the muscles become weak and which in turn cause leg cramps.
If you have too much phosphorus in your body then it increases the cramps as phosphorus prevents the body from taking calcium. Deficiency of calcium and potassium also prone to cause leg cramps.
Remedies for Leg Cramps
During pregnancy you have to do exercise unless your doctor prohibits you from doing exercise. Half an hour walk daily will be a good exercise for your legs and it will improve the blood circulation to the legs and thus makes the muscles strong. You can also practice stretching your calf muscles and this will help you to keep the calf muscle supple and thus prevents the cramps. While sitting wiggle the toes of your legs and rotate the ankles as it will be helpful for you.
While sleeping you can keep your legs elevated on a pillow. Also try to lie down on your left side as it will improve the blood circulation. You have to take care to avoid standing for long time and do not keep your legs in crossed position for extended time.
Avoid foods that are rich in phosphorous like soft drinks, snacks, processed meat etc. Take calcium and potassium rich foods as your baby takes these nutrients from your body and you may be lacking them. Take foods like banana, green leafy vegetables, dairy products, almonds, sardines, salmon etc. You can also take calcium tablets as per your doctor’s advice. It will be a good idea to take one cup milk daily before going to bed. Try to drink more water to avoid dehydration and it will also improve the blood circulation. If your doctor permits then take magnesium tablets which will be beneficial for treating leg cramps.
You can wear stockings during the day time but it must not be too tight to restrict the blood flow. Wear clothes that are loose through out your pregnancy.