Leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping
You are probably dealing with the discomfort of leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping. But try not to worry, okay? You are in good company. Your body undergoes a myriad of changes during pregnancy, and you are likely to feel cramps and pains in your leg muscles.
Cramps often occur during the second and third trimesters of the pregnancy, usually at night. Each episode can last from fifteen seconds to ten minutes.
To get rid of these uncomfortable cramps, you should first of all know what can bring them on.
Causes of leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping
Medical experts are still investigating the causes of leg cramps in pregnancy. However, some obstetricians and midwives assume that the cramps occur because of the strain on the muscles, often caused by the baby’s weight. It might also be due to changes in blood circulation. And don’t forget that the growing fetus puts a lot of pressure on the blood vessels and nerves that tunnel down to the legs.
Research studies also blame lack of calcium for this condition. Although other experts say that it might be due to a change in the way in which the woman’s body now processes calcium.
Tips for preventing leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping
Thankfully, there are verified and safe measures women can take to prevent cramps. Some of these include:
1. Eat a healthy diet
Nutritionists recommend a lot of whole-meal grains, high-fiber carbohydrates, fruits, nuts, vegetables, fatty fish and plant-based proteins. Avoid processed foods and synthetic sugars. Get sufficient amounts of nutrients to increase your chances of preventing leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping. The goal is to eat healthy, which can prevent complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
2. Take dietary supplements
Sometimes, it can be difficult to get all the important supplements your changing body needs. This is why antenatal clinics in Nigeria prescribe daily supplements for pregnant women. These pills improve the woman’s overall well being by reducing the risk of getting anaemia. Calcium and magnesium supplements are particularly helpful in the prevention and treatment of leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping.
3. Incorporate exercises into your daily routine
This is one of the easiest and surest ways to get rid of leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping. Exercises improve blood circulation in the calf and feet muscles. Fitness experts recommend gentle, non-impact exercises such as brisk walks, stretches, feet rotations and ski-squats.
Since you will mostly experience leg cramps at night, you should consider making time for some short bedside exercises. There are a couple of short and effective workout videos on YouTube. Calf stretches are the most effective of the lot.
4. Wear compression stockings
Compression stockings help improve blood circulation in your legs. Wearing them is an effective way to prevent and cure leg cramps during pregnancy. You should invest in a great pair of compression stockings.
5. Take steps to change your sitting or standing positions
Sitting or standing for long periods can cause cramps. You can set timers to go off every fifteen minutes. When the alarm goes off, sit down for a while (if you were standing) or stand up and go for a short walk (if you were sitting).
6. Drink enough water
The recommended amount for pregnant women is eight glasses daily. On rare occasions (for instance, in cases of low blood pressure), the doctor might recommend up to five litres. Water is an effective remedy for leg cramps during pregnancy. Ensure that your drinking water is clean and safe for drinking.
7. Take warm baths
Warm showers and baths are very effective in boosting blood circulation in the body as well as opening up the blood vessels in the legs to prevent leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping.
8. Use orthopedic beds and pillows
Sleep research experts recommend spacious, orthopedic beds that allow pregnant women to alter their sleeping positions. Another way to prevent leg cramps is to place a small soft pillow underneath your legs. You just might get some relief.
Leg cramps can be a nightmare if you don’t deal with them properly. Fortunately, you can get rid of the discomfort by following the tips in this article. These are tried and tested ways to get rid of leg cramps during pregnancy.
Resource: Research Gate
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