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Leg cramps are a common problem during pregnancy. Nobody knows quite what causes this annoying pregnancy complaint, but we do know what expectant moms can do to prevent and treat the cramps.

Leg cramps during pregnancy

Leg cramps, centered around the calves, are quite a common occurrence among pregnant women. The cause is not clear, though there are various speculations the leg cramps may be caused by the extra weight of your baby and all its co-travelers (the placenta and amniotic fluid weigh a lot), by a magnesium deficiency, or even by blood circulation problems. While nobody knows the exact reason leg cramps happen to lots of expectant mothers, it's quite obvious that they are annoying and you'd rather get rid of them if you're among those moms-to-be suffering from leg cramps!

What you can do to prevent leg cramps

Everybody knows that preventing is better than curing when possible. Many pregnancy symptoms or ailments can be prevented in scientific or less than scientific ways, and leg cramps are no different. What can you do to try and avoid this nasty pregnancy complaint before it even starts? As in most cases, you should start with a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and a good prenatal multivitamin and mineral supplement. Get tested for nutritional deficiencies, and take a magnesium and calcium supplement where necessary.

Dehydration is behind many common pregnancy ailments, and leg cramps may be among them. Whether or not staying properly hydrated throughout your pregnancy actually prevents leg cramps, drinking plenty of water will definitely contribute to your general health, as well as your baby's. Regular (gentle) prenatal exercise, like stretching, yoga or swimming could keep cramps at bay too. Working out regularly keeps your muscles flexible, and stretching exercises that target the calves and feet could alleviate tension building up in those areas. Finally, plenty of rest like getting off your feet when they feel tired is a great idea if you don't want horrible cramps keeping you up at night. Not that rest guarantees that you'll have no cramps, but it will help.

Treating pregnancy leg cramps

If you came to our blog to look up pregnancy leg cramps, the chances are that you are dealing with them right now and that it's too late for any preventative measures. Since you are probably looking for quick and easy solutions that make your leg cramps go away now, here are some bullet points for you:

Do leg-stretching exercises, and move your feet around in small circles. Sitting with your legs stretched out in front of you and pointing your toes up toward your nose is another great exercise. Gently massage the affected area with your hands, and some massage oil if you have any. Try placing a cold pack on the crampy spots. Some women prefer a hot bath.

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