Charlie Horse Alert!
Author: Shannon Miller
Late night leg cramps can be a killer for pregnant women!
I remember waking up with my first “Charlie horse.” I let out a scream that terrified me and my husband.
He woke up, saw me grabbing my calf and tried desperately to massage out the cramp. It was excruciating and seemed to last forever. In working on my prenatal fitness video, I learned a great deal about the prevention of leg cramps, and I am most happy to share what I learned with you!
Consider the following tips for prevention:
- It’s all about the H2O. Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of fluids and avoid caffeine.
- At the corner of cramps and calcium. Make sure you are getting your fill of calcium. You need 1200mg of calcium a day while you are pregnant or nursing. If you don’t get this through food or beverage, ask your doctor about a calcium supplement.
- Go bananas! Some people believe eating bananas will help because of potassium. Growing up, my father would always tell me to eat a banana if I was having muscle cramps. My philosophy: it certainly can’t hurt! Bananas are high in fiber (which helps with constipation) and are a great source of energy.
- Stretch it out! Before you get in bed, take a few minutes to stretch your calf muscles.
- Stand facing the bed, a chair, or near a wall for support.
- With your foot flat on the ground, bend your knee until you feel the stretch.
- Hold for 5-10 seconds.
- Repeat on other leg.