Healthy Pregnancy

What to do about leg cramps during pregnancy

Leg cramps may be caused by a combination of two issues. First, some experts believe that mineral deficiencies in your diet can lead to leg cramps. The minerals in question are calcium, magnesium and sodium. Secondly, decreased circulation to your legs can cause cramping.

Some Women Have Tried…

  • Be sure to eat calcium rich foods. Calcium is less easily absorbed when you are pregnant, so your need for it increases.
  • Make sure you are eating an adequate diet. If food aversions or indigestion make it difficult to eat enough, talk to your midwife about supplements to meet your vitamin and mineral needs.
  • Don’t wear clothing that might restrict blood flow to your legs.
  • Try sitting tailor-style (cross-legged). This position naturally helps prevent pelvic congestion and improves circulation to the legs.
  • Try walking and pelvic rocking as natural ways to improve circulation to the legs.
  • If you get a leg cramp, try to massage it out or use heat on it.
  • Use massage oil infused with basil and marjoram.
  • With calf cramps, push your heel down and your toes up.
  • Use the acupressure point that is between the upper lip and nose. Locate it about two-thirds of the way up from the lip to the nose. Hold pressure for a minute then release. Repeat as necessary.
  • If you must be on your feet all day, take regular breaks to stand barefoot on a beanbag or cushions. The tiny beans act as a massage for your feet while standing on the uneven surface makes your legs work, improving circulation. Be sure to hold a piece of sturdy furniture or steady yourself with a wall to ensure you do not fall.
  • If you must be seated all day, take regular breaks to slowly walk up and down a flight of stairs each hour. This helps to work the muscles and improves circulation.
Jennifer (Author)