Leg Cramps in Pregnancy
Leg cramps are a common experience in pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. It is estimated that about half of all pregnancy women suffer from muscle spasms in their legs which occurs more frequently during the evening.
What causes these leg cramps?
- Additional weight gain during pregnancy.
- Pregnancy hormones.
- Pressure from the growing baby on the nerves and blood vessels going to your legs.
- Dehydration – Some pregnant women cut back on fluid intake to minimize frequent trips to the bathroom.
- Deficiency in vitamins such as magnesium and potassium.
- Lack of exercise as muscles not used often enough can result in cramps.
How do you deal with leg cramps?
- Regular exercise to keep your circulation going.
- Rest while you can with your legs elevated.
- Wear support stockings that help prevent cramps as well as varicose veins.
- Apply local heat.
- Massage your calves and feet.
If you are doing all these and you are still having leg cramps, you need to talk to your health care provider. A serious reason for leg cramps could be irregularities in your potassium or calcium levels so make sure you are checked by your health care provider.