Leg cramps are one of the most commonly seen discomfort in pregnant women. Sometimes there may be sudden and severe tightening and cramping in the calf muscle that makes a pregnant woman wake in the middle of a good sleep. Several factors are there that results in leg cramping.
Causes of Leg Cramps
During pregnancy the weight of the pregnant women increases and thus legs have more stress in carrying the increased weight. There may be change in blood circulation during pregnancy which may also leads to leg cramps. The increased size of the uterus may exerts more pressure on the blood vessels that carries blood from the legs to the heart. Sometimes the nerve that move down to the leg from the trunk may get compressed and cause leg cramps.
How to Prevent Pregnancy Leg Cramps
A pregnant woman has to avoid sitting or standing for a long period as it may increase the cramping of the legs. Sitting with legs crossed may also impair the blood circulation. In order to avoid leg cramps keep the legs in an elevated position in between which in turn improves the blood circulation and thus reduces leg cramps.
In morning while you wakes up stretch your legs several times and also practice this in between the day and just before going to bed. Also rotate the ankles and wiggle the toes as it aids in improving the blood circulation. Take a short walk daily as it helps to improve the blood circulation . Try to drink plenty of water and keep hydrated.
Try to sleep on the left side as it increases the blood circulation. This position may also helps to provide good amount of oxygen to the pregnant woman and also to her baby.
Strengthen the Bones
Eat foods that are rich with calcium and potassium. Eat fish, dairy products, almonds, green leafy vegetables, tofu etc to improve the calcium intake. Eat bananas to get potassium. Also reduce the intake of phosphorus rich foods like processed meat, soft drink, snacks etc as it impairs the ability of the body to absorb calcium.
For getting relief from the leg cramps a pregnant woman can take a warm water bath before going to bed or can apply hot water bottle on the cramping muscles. Massaging the legs is also ideal for getting relief from leg cramps.