Half of all pregnant women experience leg pains in the second and third trimesters.Leg cramps can be brought on by decreased circulation, dehydration, and the pressure of the growing fetus on the nerves and blood vessels.Multiple strategies can be used to prevent or treat leg cramps.
Step 1: Regular stretching.
Leg pain can be caused by a sudden tightening of the muscles.Stretching is one of the most reliable ways to relieve leg pain.Focus on stretches for your calves and feet, as well as before and after exercise, and make sure to stretch before bed.Don’t lay on your back.There are some basic leg stretches that you can try.Place a foot on the second chair.Wrap the towel around your foot.Pull the towel or scarf towards you.You should be able to feel the stretch in your calf and foot.If you want to switch legs, stay in this position for 30 seconds.Standing calf stretch: Stand on a flat surface wearing shoes with a firm grip, about 2 to 3 feet in front of a wall.Put your hands on the wall and lift your arms.When you feel the stretch in your calf muscles, slowly lean forward.Walk your hands up the wall until you are standing straight.
Step 2: 30 minutes a day is all you need to exercise.
Light exercise can help improve circulation and reduce leg cramps as well as help you improve your core strength, tone your muscles and prepare for labor.There are many exercises that can be done in and around your house.A 30 minute walk is a great way to get outside.If you walk briskly, you will get a cardiovascular workout and keep you fit.It can be built into your daily routine.Strength building exercises, such as squats, push-ups, or leg lifts, can be done in the living room or bedroom.Water aerobics or prenatal yoga are specially designed for pregnant women.These activities help to maintain muscle tone and flexibility and are less vigorous than more vigorous types of exercise.Before starting an exercise program, consult a health care provider.
Step 3: Don’t stand or sit for long periods of time.
There are periods of activity and rest.If you have a desk job, take frequent breaks to walk or stretch.It’s a good idea to put your feet up as often as possible.If you must stand throughout the day, use breaks to sit and elevate your legs.When you sit, eat, or watch TV, wiggle your toes.
Step 4: Proper footwear is worn.
It’s important to choose shoes with comfort, support, and utility in mind.Support or compression stockings are also considered.Stockings help reduce swelling, increase blood circulation in the legs and ankles, and can help prevent leg cramps.It might be a good idea to wear shoes with a long counter.Wear support stockings to sleep.
Step 5: You should stretch as soon as you feel a twinge.
Straighten your leg and wiggle your toes to relieve the pain of a cramp.It will ease the spasm and the pain will go away after a while.
Step 6: Apply heat to the area.
Circulation can be improved by heat.Use a warm towel, rice sock, electric heating pad, or hot water bottle.A warm bath before bed can help soothe stiff muscles.When fatigue and fluid accumulate at their peak, leg cramps are more frequent.A tea towel soaked in warm water can be used to make a compress.Wrap the excess water around the area.Symptoms may be alleviated by cold temperatures.Stand on cold kitchen tiles to relieve the pain.
Step 7: If the pain isn’t going away, you should consult a doctor.
There’s nothing to worry about if you have bad cramps like a Charley horse.In rare cases, the pain may be caused by a blood clot, which could make it worse or allow it to travel.
Step 8: Dehydration can be prevented by drinking adequate fluids.
It’s important to keep your muscles hydrated.If you are exercising or living in a hot climate, you should aim for at least 8 glasses of water a day.You should keep an eye on the color of your urine.You may not be getting enough water if it is a dark yellow.
Step 9: A pregnant woman can get a massage.
The benefits of massage include improving circulation and reducing swelling.There are special concerns for pregnant women.It’s important to tell the massage therapist that you’re pregnant so that they can give you a massage.Make sure that your massage therapist is licensed.There is a huge variation in training and some doctors don’t advise massage during pregnancy.Not all states require a set minimum training for massage therapists regardless of whether or not a client is pregnant.
Step 10: Take vitamins.
A magnesium supplement has been shown to help prevent leg cramps in pregnant women.Whole grains, beans, dried fruits, nuts and seeds are magnesium-rich foods.It’s important to get enough calcium, but there is no good evidence that taking extra calcium will help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy.In one well-designed study, pregnant women taking calcium did not get more relief from leg cramps than those taking a placebo.Before taking any supplements, be sure to talk to a health care provider.