How to Relieve Pregnancy Cramps

Talk To Your Doctor About Taking Extra Magnesium

Lack of magnesium in your diet can make it difficult for your muscles to unwind. That can make your body more prone to cramps. If you experience cramps frequently, we advise speaking with your doctor about increasing your magnesium intake, either through dietary changes or through prenatal supplements. Dark chocolate, spinach, walnuts, bananas, and other foods are great sources of magnesium in nature. You might actually hear your doctor tell you to eat more chocolate. ”.

What causes leg cramps during pregnancy, and can they be prevented?Answer From Mary Marnach, M.D.

In the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, leg cramps, which are painful involuntary muscle contractions that typically affect the calf, foot, or both, are quite common.

While the precise cause of leg cramps during pregnancy is unknown, there are steps you can take to avoid them. For example:

  • Stretch your calf muscles. Although evidence is lacking, stretching before bed might help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy. Stand at arms length from a wall, place your hands on the wall in front of you and move your right foot behind your left foot. Slowly bend your left leg forward, keeping your right knee straight and your right heel on the floor. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds, being careful to keep your back straight and your hips forward. Dont rotate your feet inward or outward. Switch legs and repeat.
  • Stay active. Regular physical activity might help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy. Before you begin an exercise program, make sure you have your health care providers OK.
  • Take a magnesium supplement. Limited research suggests that taking a magnesium supplement might help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy. Make sure you have your health care providers OK to take a supplement. You might also consider eating more magnesium-rich foods, such as whole grains, beans, dried fruits, nuts and seeds.
  • Stay hydrated. Keeping your muscles hydrated might help prevent cramps. Your urine should be relatively clear or light yellow in color if you are properly hydrated. If your urine is darker yellow, it might mean that youre not getting enough water.
  • Get adequate calcium. Some research suggests reduced levels of calcium in your blood during pregnancy may contribute to leg cramps. All women, including pregnant women, should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day.
  • Choose proper footwear. Choose shoes with comfort, support and utility in mind. It might help to wear shoes with a firm heel counter — the part of the shoe that surrounds the heel and helps lock the foot into the shoe.
  • Stretch the calf muscle on the affected side if a leg cramp occurs. Leg elevation after walking could prevent a leg cramp from recurring. A warm bath, ice massage, hot shower, or muscle massage may also be beneficial.

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    Stop Smoking For Your Health And Your Baby’s Health

    As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, give up smoking for the health of both you and your unborn child as well as to avoid leg cramps. Smoking causes vasoconstriction, which is the narrowing of your blood vessels. Additionally, it raises your blood’s CO2 levels while lowering the amount of oxygen your muscles receive. Because of the constriction of the blood vessels and the rise in CO2, cramps are more likely to occur. Stop smoking as soon as you can for the benefit of both you and your unborn child.

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