Leg Cramps During Pregnancy
Leg cramps during pregnancy are very common. You may start having leg cramps during your second trimester and may get worse as your pregnancy progresses and your
belly gets bigger.
Natural Home Remedies for Leg Cramps
Leg cramps can occur at any time, but they are more likely to arise at bedtime.
This page looks at the following topics:
Causes of Leg Cramps During Pregnancy
Leg cramps in pregnancy are usually caused by the following:
- Poor circulation due to hormonal changes and mineral deficiency (usually calcium and/or magnesium).
- Fatigue due to having to carry around extra weight while you are pregnant.
- Pressure that is put on the blood vessels by the expanding uterus.
Natural Home Remedies for Leg Cramps During Pregnancy
There are quite a few home remedies that you can try to treat leg cramps. They include:
The minerals calcium and magnesium are beneficial because they reduce muscle spasms and cramps.
However, if you have kidney or heart problems, do not take magnesium supplements without medical supervision. Excess magnesium can also cause diarrhea in some people. Please
therefore consult with your doctor before you take these supplements.
Vitamin E has been found to be effective in treating leg cramps. Good food sources of vitamin E include wheat germ, safflower oil, corn oil, oatmeal and pastas.
- Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids support proper blood flow and reduce the likelihood of muscle cramps. Supplements rich in EFAs include fish oil, flaxseed oil, and evening primrose
- Homeopathic Remedy
The remedy Magnesia Phosphorica is very effective in treating leg cramps and muscle spasms. It is also safe to use for women during pregnancy.
The following aromatherapy recipe for foot bath has been found to be effective in treating foot and leg cramps in pregnancy.
Put 10 drops of lavender oil, 5 drops of geranium oil, and 2 drops of cypress oil into a bowl of hot water and use it as a foot bath.
Prevention of Leg Cramps During Pregnancy
- Eat calcium-rich foods, such as seaweed, green leafy vegetables (except spinach), and soy products.
- Avoid foods that deplete the body of minerals, such as caffeine, alcohol, and sugar-rich foods.
- Keep your blood moving by doing daily exercise, unless you have been advised by your doctor not to.
- Elevate your legs as often as possible, so that the blood can flow back up to the heart.
- Avoid standing or sitting with your legs crossed for long periods of time.
- Stretch your calf muscles regularly during the day and in particular before going to bed.
- Drink plenty of water during the day to stay hydrated.
Common Womens Health Problems
Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004).
Worwood, V.A. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. (New World Library, 1991).
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