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How to Prevent Leg Cramps during Pregnancy

How to Prevent Leg Cramps during Pregnancy

Leg cramps occur quite frequently in pregnant women. Cramps are unpleasant sensations that can occur at any place, any time and cause a lot of pain that is often unbearable. This HerHaleness article guides you as to how you can prevent this frequent muscle cramping while pregnant.
Ujwal Deshmukh
Last Updated: Jan 21, 2018
Cramps are caused due to abnormal contraction of muscles. Leg cramps occurring during pregnancy, are majorly caused due to an increase in the body weight. Some experts believe that these are caused due to excessive amount of phosphorus and lack of calcium and potassium in the body.
The different types of cramps include, menstrual cramps, smooth muscle cramp, nocturnal leg cramp, and skeletal muscle cramp. Cramps associated with pregnancy are not just restricted to nighttime, but they can occur at any time even during the day.
Tips to Prevent the Cramps
Pregnancy Exercises
1. Doing leg stretches a few times in a day could help in preventing the cramps. Leg stretches, before going to bed, would also prove useful to avoid nocturnal cramps.

2. A daily walk for about 10-15 minutes, with the doctor's consultation is also useful.

3. In order to increase the blood circulation, rotating ankles and shaking the toes back and forth would be helpful.
Things to Avoid
1. To prevent leg muscle cramps while carrying, it is suggested to avoid standing for a long time.

2. Keeping legs in a crossed position for a long period should be avoided.
Pregnancy Diet
1. The most important aspect a woman needs to cater to, is maintaining adequate hydration by consuming a lot of water. This is because water prevents dehydration, which in turn, prevents muscle tightening.

2. Potassium is an important element that helps to regulate muscle contraction. Bananas have a good potassium content, and hence, it is good to consume bananas in pregnancy.
3. As mentioned above, an excess of phosphorus content in the body results in cramps, therefore, it is better to limit the consumption of snack food items, processed meat, and soft drinks, as they have a higher phosphorus content.
4. Calcium is another essential requirement of the body, therefore, consuming foods such as, milk products, fish such as salmon, almonds, and green leafy vegetables would help in increasing the calcium content in the body. This would further help in preventing leg cramps, as calcium relaxes nerve impulses and controls muscle activity.

5. Foods rich in magnesium should also be a part of the diet plan for a healthy pregnancy.
Regular Check Ups
Since weight gain is also a major cause of cramps in many pregnant women, it is necessary to keep a check on the body weight and see that it does not exceed the normal range. One can even consult a doctor for this purpose.
Although the above guidelines are sufficient for the prevention of pregnancy leg cramps, it is always better to seek consultation from a health care professional before opting for any of these preventive measures. A word of proper consultation and advice from the doctor would help in administering proper treatment for the leg cramps.