Avoiding and Relief from Leg Cramps during Pregnancy
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
Do you get those terrible leg cramps during pregnancy?
Especially in the middle of the night?
There are some specific ways that you can reduce your chance of cramping and some solutions for those moments.
To avoid leg cramps, as much as possible:
- Stay hydrated during the day. Nothing beats plain water, sipped throughout the day. Staying hydrated also reduces fatigue and dizziness.
- Get 1200 mg of calcium per day. Count the calcium in your servings of dairy and fortified products. If it does not come to at least 1200 mg, ask your doctor about an approved calcium supplement. Not only do we need calcium to reduce cramping, but our baby needs calcium in these early stages for healthy bone growth, and you need it for your own bones, which are under pressure with the extra weight of pregnancy.
- Check your potassium. Potassium is a miracle mineral that helps maintain bone health in tandem with calcium and vitamin D. It also is known to help the heart and blood pressure, and helps maintain cellular energy through the day. Some doctors prescribe potassium to help with migraines, as well. You can get potassium through bananas, citrus juices (such as orange juice), avocados, cantaloupes, tomatoes, potatoes, lima beans, flounder, salmon, cod, and chicken (source University of Maryland Research Department).
- Stretch. Take stretch breaks through the day, including calf stretches. Calves are under a lot of pressure with the new weight of the baby. Find out more about calf stretches and exercises to help you feel and look great in the Shannon Miller Fit Pregnancy DVD. And, don’t forget to stretch before bed.
- Flex your foot. If you do get that unfortunate cramp, try to flex your foot as soon as possible. You might be frozen in a toe-point position, but the sooner you can flex your way out, the sooner you will feel relief.