The other day I woke up with the need to stretch my leg. It was uncontrollable. So I started stretching and it turned into the most wicked charlie horse I have ever had in my life! Seriously, my leg muscle still hurts!
Well, apparently this is common in pregnancy. I had never had it before so this was new to me. I have been walking regularly, but I am sure I am drinking enough water. I also try to eat a ton of bananas to keep up my potassium.
After doing some research, I found that it is very common for pregnant women to get leg cramps, especially in the later stages of pregnancy when you are carrying all that extra weight. Here are some ways to prevent pregnancy leg cramps:
- Avoid standing or sitting with your legs crossed for long periods of time.
- Stretch your calf muscles regularly during the day and several times before you go to bed.
- Rotate your ankles and wiggle your toes when you sit, eat dinner, or watch TV.
- Take a walk every day, unless your midwife or doctor has advised you not to exercise.
- Avoid getting too tired. Lie down on your left side to improve circulation to and from your legs.
- Stay hydrated during the day by drinking water regularly.
- Try a warm bath before bed to relax your muscles.
I also enlist the hubby for a nice massage with some kind of lotion or oil so he doesn’t tug on my skin. It is very soothing, especially after stretching and taking a warm bath.
Pregnancy leg cramps can be very painful, so trying to prevent them at the early stages is probably best. I know I will start stretching, hydrating, massaging etc. in the beginning with my next baby because I definitely want to try and avoid them!
Do you have pregnancy leg cramps? How do you deal with them or prevent them?