Why Leg Cramping Occurs During Pregnancy And How To Treat It

If you have gone through a pregnancy before you probably already know that it can take a toll on your body, but if this is your first pregnancy you might not realize the extent of what it can do to you. Pregnancy can cause a lot of issues with your body, and one of these is leg cramps. Getting leg cramps while you sleep is quite common, especially during the second and third trimesters, and here are several things to know about this.

Why this happens

Most experts believe that getting leg cramps during pregnancy occurs because of the pressure the baby places on the uterus. As the baby grows inside you, it places more and more pressure on the uterus. As this happens, the uterus can place pressure on nerves, and this is the likely cause of leg cramping while sleeping.

Other experts believe that these cramps occur from a lack of hydration and nutrients. If you are not drinking enough water, your muscles may contract more than normal, and the same thing can happen from a lack of nutrients.

What to do when it happens

If you suddenly wake up at night with cramping in your legs, one of the best things to do is to quickly get out of bed and stand up. This can be hard to do during the third trimester, though, simply because of your size. If you cannot quickly get out of bed, you should stretch your legs and point your feet directly up. If you do this fast enough, the cramping might instantly stop.

Experiencing leg cramping during the day can also occur, and this too can be challenging, but this is usually easier to deal with. If your legs cramp up during the day, spend more time walking around and increase the amount of water you drink each day.

You may also want to talk to your doctor about taking magnesium supplements. While there is limited research to prove that this can help reduce leg cramps, many doctors believe it can. When you take magnesium, it may help by preventing your muscles from contracting.

Experiencing leg cramps during pregnancy is very normal, but it can also be frustrating. Leg cramps are painful and distracting when they occur while you sleep, but they are not dangerous for your pregnancy. If you are experiencing leg cramps or any other health problems, make sure you discuss them with your OBGYN.

To learn more, contact a doctor like Darin L Weyhrich