You’re pregnant. You’re sleeping. You wake up in the middle of the night with a painful cramp in your leg all of a sudden. You’re in pain. It goes away. You go back to sleep. A normal day in pregnancy. Leg cramps during sleep is not an unusual thing. A study showed that leg cramps are very common especially in the second and third trimesters; to be more specific. It stated that half of all pregnant women report leg cramps during the third trimester. If you’re experiencing this and have no clue why or what to do, read on.
Why do we get leg cramps during pregnancy?
There’s no obvious reason. However, according to WebMD, this might be a result of the change in blood circulation during pregnancy or the heavier bodyweight which exerts pressure on the leg muscles. Also, if you have lower levels of potassium, calcium, and/or magnesium, you’re more likely to encounter leg cramps.
What can I do to prevent leg cramps?
You can do the following:
- Prenatal yoga and stretches.
- Apply a warm water pack on your calf.
- Eat foods rich in potassium like bananas, calcium like sesame and tahini, and magnesium like leafy greens and nuts.
- Stay hydrated.
- Don’t sit for long periods.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
Leg cramps during pregnancy are not a serious condition. However, if there are any complications such as swelling or if these cramps exceed a few seconds, contact your doctor.