Leg cramps are quite common during pregnancy. Most women experience it in the third trimester. Reports reveal that nearly half of all pregnant women suffer from muscle spasms especially in their legs. These women have also reported that cramping becomes more frequent during the evening.
One of the major causes is excess weight gained by women during this period. The legs carry all of this weight and this overburden cause spasms/cramps. Additionally, changes in body circulation also cause this issue. Other common reasons include pressure from the growing baby that gets placed on the nerves and blood vessels traveling to legs. Growing uterus also adds to the pressure on veins in the leg. Pregnancy hormones and nutrition deficiency are some other reasons.
Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to get relief from leg cramps. Here are 7 effective remedies for leg cramps during pregnancy:
1. Warm water bath
Go for a warm water bath with Epsom salt. This is one of the best ways to ease leg pain effectively. It will relax you and reduces stress levels. At the same time, this bath will also relieve the tension in your muscles.
2. Cold Pack
Wrap some ice cubes taken straight from the refrigerator and apply on affected areas. You may also use an ice pack and apply it on cramped muscle.
3. Get Some ME Time
Are you getting enough ME time? If no, then try to indulge in activities that take away your stress. Read a book or explore creative hobbies. Go for a movie, shopping, gardening, or do anything that keeps you happy.
4. Massage and Stretch
Massaging your calf gently will help. Ask your partner or a professional to give you a soothing massage. Flexing your foot will also give relief. Lift your toes up and push your heel out. Do not point your toe. This can exacerbate cramping and even make it worse. Stand on a hard floor and lift toes to stretch calf muscle will relieve cramping. Make sure you hold onto something for balance.
5. Increase Water Intake
Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. Studies have revealed that lack of sodium leads to serious muscle contractions.
6. Apply Heat
Yes, application of local heat will help. Place heated water bags, gel packs or towel dipped into hot water and then squeezed.
7. Practice Yoga
Certain yoga poses are said to help during pregnancy cramps. Try out the hip rotation pose in the second trimester. The modified standing squat pose also helps. These are meant for strengthening muscles and lower body. Make sure you take help of a professional.