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Leg cramps during pregnancy

Leg cramps are common during pregnancy especially during the second and third trimesters. The uncomfortable pain occurs due to muscle contractions and usually happens at night.

There are many suggested reasons for cramps during pregnancy like, carrying extra weight, changes in metabolism, having a vitamin deficiency, being too active or not being active enough etc. But the exact cause is not clear.However, you can take steps to prevent it to a limit.

Stretch your calf muscles
Stretching before bed may help prevent leg cramps. Stand at arm’s length from a wall, place your hands on the wall you and move your right foot behind your left foot. Slowly bend your left leg forward, keeping your right knee straight and the right heel on the floor. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds, being careful to keep your back straight and your hips forward. Don’t rotate your feet inward or outward. Switch legs and repeat.

Stay active
Regular physical activity can bring down the cramps. But make sure to take advice from your doctor regarding exercise.

Stay hydrated
Keeping your body muscles hydrated might help. 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 you’re not getting enough water.

Use proper footwear
Choose your footwear with comfort and support. It might help to use those with firm heel counter.

Take enough calcium
Studies suggest reduced levels of calcium in your blood during pregnancy may cause leg cramps. You should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day.

To ease a leg cramp, it usually helps if you stretch the muscle by pulling your toes hard up towards your ankle. You can also rub the muscle firmly or walk around for a while.

You should consult your doctor if the leg cramps disturb your sleep too much or they are very painful.

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