Leg cramps in pregnancy

It can be a challenge to sleep comfortably, especially in your final trimester. Along with frequent trips to the bathroom or your baby’s movements, you could also experience sudden painful contractions in your leg muscles. Here’s what you can do to ease them.

Leg cramps during pregnancy can affect your calf muscles, feet or both. Here are 5 helpful ways in which you might be able to avoid them.

What are leg cramps?

Leg cramps are involuntary muscle contractions that are common during pregnancy, often happening during the night.

5 Ways to avoid leg cramps in pregnancy

  1. Stretch – cramps may be avoided if you keep your muscles supple. Exercise, which includes stretching, increases blood flow around the body.
  2. Stay active – regular pregnancy-appropriate physical activity might help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy. Promoting blood flow also means that more oxygen is travelling around your body. But before you begin any exercise programme, make sure you check with your doctor first.
  3. Stay hydrated – keeping your body and its muscles hydrated might help prevent cramps.
  4. Wear comfortable footwear – choose to wear shoes that are comfortable and offer support, without being too tight.
  5. Lie down on your left side – this helps improve your blood circulation to your legs.

What if leg cramps happen all the time?

If your leg cramps are frequent and feel overly severe, acute muscle pain, leg tenderness and does not feel like a usual cramp, you should consult your doctor for advice and treatment.

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