Why leg cramps occur during pregnancy?

Fact Checked

It is a known fact that pregnancy has its own set of symptoms to expect. Some of the symptoms can be considered hilarious such as the cravings for certain foods while others such as bloating can be uncomfortable. Most women who experience leg cramps experience them during night time and they are excruciating enough to disrupt sleep. It often involves a spasm in the calf that tends to intensify when the toes are pointed out. Even though standing up or flexing the foot is the ideal temporary solution to leg cramps, a long-term solution depends on the exact cause of the leg cramps.

Poor circulation

It is important to note that the body undergoes drastic changes during pregnancy. One of the first systems affected by change is the circulatory system. The growing uterus puts pressure on the veins that transport blood back from the legs, which overfills the legs with fluids that can result to leg cramps.

Leg cramps-pregnancy
It is recommended to rest with the legs elevated and wear support stockings to prevent leg cramps.

It is recommended to stretch and walk to help relieve the leg cramps once they occur. Women who regularly exercise can also suffer from minimal cramping since they maintain their circulatory system better. Lastly, some women find that sleeping on the left side helps prevent diminished blood return and cramping.

Weight and pressure

As the baby develops, more strain is added on the body of the mother. The posture can change throughout pregnancy and this can cause strain on the nerves in the legs and back, thus resulting to leg cramps.

It is recommended to rest with the legs elevated and wear support stockings to prevent leg cramps. Aside from regular exercise, massaging the muscles that are prone to cramping can also help as well as heat. When heat is applied to the affected muscles, it is best to utilize a local source of heat such as a heating pad and avoid hot baths. You can readily help ease the discomfort caused by the leg cramps by enrolling in a course on first aid today.

Minerals

Inadequate amount of dietary calcium can trigger leg cramps. In the same way, excess dietary phosphorus can also be considered as a culprit. Take note that it is often easy to increase the calcium intake than to reduce the phosphorus intake since both are often found together, thus women suffering from leg cramps must increase the consumption of low-fat dairy products such as low-fat yogurt and skim milk.

Women who receive plenty of calcium might not be absorbing calcium from the digestive tract. They must use a vitamin D supplement to help. Vitamin D is responsible for helping the body take up calcium properly from the intestines and this is acquired by being exposed to sunshine for a few minutes or from certain foods such as fortified dairy.

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