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Leg Cramps

Managing Leg Cramps in Pregnancy


Leg cramps are involuntary contractions of muscles that primarily affects the calf, foot or both. These cramps are quite common in pregnant women.

Causes of leg cramps:

Although these are quite common, it is still not clear what causes leg cramps. It is postulated that these might be due to fatigue in leg muscles, due to extra weight the mother is carrying or the uterus compressing different nerves or even the weight of the baby reducing blood supply to the legs. Dehydration during pregnancy can also lead to leg cramps as well as low iron, calcium or magnesium.

How to relieve leg pains:

If you are in the midst of a leg spasm, start by massaging your calf and flexing your foot. Try lifting your tops up and heel down (flex and extend at ankle joint). Always avoid pointing your toe too much as this will exacerbate the spasm and lead to more pain. You can also try standing on a hard surface and lifting your toe to stretch your calf muscles.

Prevention of leg cramps during pregnancy:

You can always try some methods to decrease chances of leg pains. Slowly stretching your feet a few times before going to bed helps decrease chances of leg cramps. Avoiding standing or sitting for a long period of time and wearing compression stocking also helps. Proper hydration with calcium and magnesium supplements are a must. It is always recommended to drink up to 2 liters of water but not much more because that can lead to excessive heartburn.


You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 1300 464 464.

This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.

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