Leg cramps are very common in pregnancy. About 50% of women will experience cramps especially in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and mostly at night.
It is thought the extra strain on the muscles due to a growing uterus and hormonal changes are the contributing factors.
To try and avoid leg cramps you can:
- Stretch your calf muscles during the day
- Try not to stand too long or sit with your legs crossed
- Drink plenty of water
- Elevate legs when possible
- Warm bath before going to bed
- Stretch your calf muscles
When stretching your toes, point upwards (ie towards your head) not downwards
If a cramp occurs, flex your foot and toes backwards. Massage the affected muscles or try walking around.
Magnesium and possibly Calcium supplements may be beneficial.