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Leg/Foot Cramps

Pregnancy Symptoms & Discomforts

Pregnant women experience many aches and pains throughout their pregnancy, among them are leg and foot cramps. The involuntary contraction of the muscles in the foot or calf can be quite painful. The exact cause of these cramps is not known for sure, and it is likely that many factors contribute to them; excess pregnancy weight, hormones and diet among them. Leg and foot cramps tend to strike more often at night, which can make them particularly bothersome as they interrupt precious sleep. They occur more frequently through the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

Leg/Foot Cramps During PregnancyWhat can I do to prevent leg/foot cramps?
Doing calf stretches and foot exercises before bed each night will help prevent cramps. Try to alternate periods of rest with periods of activity throughout the day. Choose comfortable shoes to wear when you must be on your feet for longer periods, and stay hydrated. A warm bath before bed will also help relax muscles.

There is some research suggesting a magnesium supplement will help with leg cramps, speak with your health care provider before starting any supplements.

When a cramp strikes gently straighten your leg and pull your toes back towards your shin. Walking around or elevating your legs may also help.

When should I see my doctor?
In rare cases leg cramps may be caused by a blood clot. If the pain is constant, and is not alleviated by stretching, or if there is redness or swelling in the area, consult with your health care provider, as blood clots require immediate medical attention.

Other "Back, Legs & Hands" Pregnancy Symptoms & Discomforts:   Achy Legs    Backache    Leg/Foot Cramps    Sciatica    Sore Hips    Tingling or Numb Feet    Tingling or Numb Hands    Varicose Veins    View All Pregnancy Symptoms & Discomforts

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