Wednesday, June 1, 2011

oh my CRAMPS! (leg & foot cramps during pregnancy)

A lot have of mothers have asked me on whether I get leg cramps. 

LEG CRAMPS! A sharp, shooting pain in the middle of the night that jolts you out of the bed is unnerving not to mention painful. 

Yes, I did! It was not often though... or so, I thought. But it had been more frequent during my last trimester.

Many pregnant women wake up to painful leg cramps in the middle of the night or just before the break of day... which explains as to why they have been asking me if I got it too.

I got the tip when leg cramps attack from one of my bff back in high school since she was a swimmer and tennis player, and cramping was something not so uncommon for them.
The thing is to dorsiflex (see attached picture) one's foot.
It seems more painful to do this at first and one would be tempted not to move the cramping foot instead (like my husband). But believe me, it works! Ask my hubby, he'll testify too! 

While the reason for this is not definite, some experts think cramps are caused by the weight increase brought on by pregnancy which puts on more stress on your legs and compromises your circulation, while others believe they are due to an excess of phosphorus or a shortage of calcium, magnesium or potassium. As the pregnancy progresses, so does the pain and the frequency.

Here are some tips to help us avoid them altogether if not minimize its occurrence:

1. Stretch your legs a few times a day, especially before bedtime.

  • 2. Do some simple exercises like rotating your ankles and wiggle your toes to increase circulation especially when sitting.

  • 3. Resist pointing your toes as you crawl into bed.

  • 4. Avoid crossing your legs or standing for long periods of time.

  • 5. Eat potassium-rich foods such as bananas.

  • 6. Eat calcium-rich foods such as dairy products, fish with bones (salmon or sardines), green leafy vegetables, almonds and tofu.

  • 7. Reduce your intake of phosphorus-rich foods such as soft drinks, processed meats and snack foods. (Phosphorus has a negative effect on the absorption of calcium.)

  • 8. Studies show that multivitamin with minerals and magnesium is helpful, take one that is recommended by your doctor.

    9. Have warm baths before bedtime to relax calf muscles.

    10. Stay well hydrated.

  • Tips & Warnings
    • If the pain in your leg is accompanied by swelling or tenderness or will not go away, call your doctor. You could have a rare condition that requires immediate medical attention.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Related Posts with Thumbnails