We all know that morning sickness is synonymous with pregnancy. Another problem that most pregnant women generally suffer from is leg cramps. It can be extremely painful and keep you up at night. Besides, its aftereffects, such as numbness and dull pain, can remain for a long time.
According to gynecologists, cramps occur because the body of a woman undergoes major hormonal changes during the term of pregnancy which can hinder circulation. Cramps are certainly not harmful to the mother or the baby but the sheer inconvenience and pain associated with it make it imperative for mothers to find a way of dealing with this problem.
You can make your nights comfortable and painless and, more importantly, cramp-free with these simple tips.
Improve Water Intake
The chances of cramps occurring will increase when your body gets dehydrated. Drinking more water during pregnancy is a proven way of reducing the incidents of leg cramps. You can drink more water after every meal to improve the water level in the body. Also, make it a point to carry a water bottle along wherever you go and sip at regular intervals. Consider adding pepper, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, and other water-rich foods to your diet. These food items have a high concentration of minerals and vitamins and can boost your general health too during pregnancy.
Put Away Those Cigarette Sticks
Stop smoking if you are a regular smoker. Smoking can cause cramps but it can also affect the growth of your developing baby adversely. Vasoconstriction caused by heavy smoking can result in a narrowing of blood vessels which in turn can increase the level of carbon dioxide in the body and trigger leg cramps. Stop smoking as soon as your pregnancy is established.
Check for Magnesium Deficiency
When your body does not have an adequate level of magnesium, the ability of your muscles to relax is affected adversely. This can cause cramps. Ask your doctor to check the level of magnesium in your body. If a deficiency is detected, it can be corrected by including foods such as walnuts, bananas, and spinach in your daily diet intake. Dark chocolates can also boost magnesium level significantly.
Do Some Stretching Exercises
A highly effective way of treating leg cramps is doing stretching exercises. Focus on the muscles in the affected areas. If cramps affect your legs the most during sleep, doing some light stretching exercises that involve the calves and the hamstrings before you retire for the day.
Place Your Legs at an Elevated Level
This is a simple but very effective way of treating leg cramps during pregnancy. Place your legs at a higher level than your body using a couple of pillows. This is done to improve circulation between the heart and the feet which can help reduce the instances of leg cramps at night. It also takes the pressure off your lower back which can provide immense relief during pregnancy.
These are some simple and proven ways of alleviating muscle cramps and ensuring a good night’s sleep.