Natural Ways to Reduce Leg Cramps During Pregnancy
In addition to back pain, abdominal pain, and foot pain, women often experience severe leg cramps during pregnancy. The most common time for these leg cramps to appear is just after lying down to go to bed. They can also occur after sitting for a long period of time or after a day without much movement.
During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes extreme chemical changes in order to accommodate the new life inside of her. One of these changes is a difference in how the body accepts and processes nutrients.
An excess of phosphorus or a lack of potassium can bring about leg cramps. Another common cause of leg cramps during pregnancy is weight gain, which is obviously unavoidable.
How To Avoid Leg Cramps During Pregnancy?
If you are experiencing leg cramps during pregnancy, there are several ways to reduce or even eliminate the problem.
The first thing that you can do to avoid leg cramps is to set up a routine for stretching every day. Sometimes once will be sufficient, while several times may be necessary.
Talk to your doctor to determine the types of stretching exercises that won’t be detrimental to the fetus before you begin any exercise regimen.
Stretching will help to warm the muscles and to decrease tension in the tendons and ligaments. It will also help to maintain flexibility, which is diminished during pregnancy.
2. Increase Circulation
Avoid positions (either sitting or standing) that might compromise blood flow to your extremities. When sitting on the couch or in a chair, elevate your legs toward your heart to increase blood flow.
Try not to fold your legs underneath your seat because that will cut off circulation. If you notice that your ankles or toes frequently “fall asleep”, try rotating the joints to stimulate blood flow.
3. Increase Potassium Intake
If possible, try to eat at least two bananas every day. If you don’t like bananas, you can substitute with oranges, apricots, avocados, and parsnips, or take a potassium supplement.
Potassium is a micronutrient that assists the human body in retaining fluids and increasing levels of electrolytes. It also increases the abilities of your muscles to contract and relax fluidly.
4. Decrease Phosphorus Intake
Phosphorus is a macronutrient found most commonly in meat, crackers, shortbread, and sodas. Limit your intake of phosphorus as much as possible.
It inhibits the contracting and relaxing of muscles and can increase the stiffness in muscles, joints, and tendons.
How to Prevent or Relieve Pregnancy Leg Cramps
Leg cramps and foot pain is very common during pregnancy. It typically occurs during the third trimester.
Because the woman is carrying a lot of extra weight which may add stress to her legs and feet. While this pregnancy problem can be very uncomfortable, it can be dealt with.
Here are some of the things that pregnant women can do to cope with leg and foot pain.
1. Find a Pair of Comfortable Shoes for Pregnancy
If you are experiencing foot pain during pregnancy. It is likely that you will need to find shoes in a different size.
Also, be sure to find a pair of shoes that offer support and feel comfortable to walk in.
2. Stretch Your Legs Frequently While You are Pregnant
Women who experience leg cramps during pregnancy should avoid sitting for too long. This can restrict blood flow and cause the cramps to become more severe.
Getting up and walking around throughout the day can be beneficial. It is also ideal to do leg stretches and wiggle your toes every morning and night during your pregnancy. This can help prevent painful cramps or pain.
3. Be Sure to Exercise During Pregnancy
Many women avoid exercise while they are pregnant. It can actually help prevent leg cramps or foot pain.
Walking and swimming can both be ideal for getting your body moving and preventing blood flow restriction.
Yoga is ideal for stretching your entire body during pregnancy. The main key is to stay active in some way to prevent or lessen the severity of leg cramps and foot pain.
4. Apply Heat to Treat Pregnancy Leg Cramps
The March of Dimes recommends taking a hot bath or applying a warm towel or hot water bottle to the muscle which is in pain.
You may also consider applying a heating pad to the area. Massaging the leg can also help relieve severe leg cramps.
5. Make Sure There’s Not a Serious Health Problem
Blood clots, hypothyroidism, and various other health conditions can lead to leg cramping. If you are experiencing severe leg cramps and/or redness, warmth, tenderness, and swollenness during pregnancy.
The best thing that you can do is talk to the doctor. While leg cramps during pregnancy can be severe for some women. It is ideal to make sure that another health problem is not to blame.
While leg cramping during pregnancy can be an uncomfortable problem for many women, it is often not serious and can be easy to prevent or cope with.
Unless there is another health problem causing the leg cramping, most women do not have anything to worry about during pregnancy.