Leg cramps is one of the common complaints during pregnancy. The severity of the cramp may range from being a mild one to a severe one which is painful enough to wake you up from a dead sleep. Muscle cramps in your legs may be explained by physiological and physiological changes brought about by pregnancy.
Although, pregnancy leg cramps is not curable – it is part of your pregnancy process and is natural and safe – there are ways you can prevent the cramps from happening or at least reduce the severity. But first let’s find out what causes leg cramps during pregnancy.
One of the causes for pregnancy leg cramps is decreased blood flow to your leg muscles. If your leg cramps, it is an indication that your leg muscles are not getting enough supply of blood. So what prevents flow of enough blood to these muscles? First, you should know that during pregnancy, you have to produce more blood which is necessary for the growing fetus.
And if you had an active day, this blood can actually pool leading to slower blood circulation. As a consequence, your veins may swell leading to cramps. Another reason for decreased blood flow may be traced to the growing size of your uterus.
As your baby grows in size, the size of your uterus also increases. This may make blood travel to your heart through the veins difficult thereby slowing down blood circulation. Moreover, you are now putting more pressure on your leg muscles as your weight increases. Tired muscles may also explain leg cramps.
So is there ways to prevent leg cramps. There are several ways in which you can ease leg cramps or prevent its occurrence. First of all, you may try stretching your legs gently few hours before going to bed. The idea is to pacify and relax your tired muscles. So do not overstretch. Secondly, you can take up an exercise routine which includes swimming and walking.
In fact, these two physical activities are considered the best exercises for pregnant women. Also, take a lot of fluid. Plain water is best. Dehydrated muscles are more susceptible to cramps. Lastly make sure that your body is getting enough amounts of calcium, potassium, and magnesium apart from other essential nutrients and vitamins.