Top Tips to Deal with Calf Cramps during Pregnancy
- Reasons - weight gain, change in blood circulation and growing foetus.
- Stretching can greatly help to ease burden off calves.
- When lying, make sure that your legs are elevated.
- Do some calf stretches to deal with calf cramps.
Calf cramps are common during pregnancy, especially during the night. There are many possible causes of calf cramps during pregnancy, but there is no single cure for them.
Weight gain, change in blood circulation and pressure from the growing baby are some of the possible reasons of calf cramps during pregnancy. According to American Pregnancy Association, pregnant women can deal with calf cramps by wearing support stockings, feet massage and elevating the legs.
During pregnancy, there is an extra burden on your calf muscles. Stretching can greatly help to ease the burden and bring relief to your calves. There are two different calf muscles that should be stretched namely, gastrocnemius and soleus.
Gastrocnemius is a powerful superficial pennate muscle present in the lower part of a leg. This muscle goes from back of the knee to the Achilles tendon i.e. behind your ankle. To stretch this muscle, put one foot (in front of the other) at a comfortable distance from the other. Bend the front knee and leg while keeping the knee of back leg straight. Now lunge forward till you feel a gentle stretch at back of your calf.
Soleus runs just below the knee to heel. It plays a major role in standing and walking. To stretch Soleus stand in front of wall with both the hands comfortably placed on wall. Place your feet apart but at comfortable distance. Now bend both the knees until you feel gentle stretch in your calf muscle.
Make sure that your legs are supported properly. While lying down make sure that your legs are elevated (for better blood circulation). Make sure that you don’t leave your knee backs without any support. Bedide this, avoid sitting cross legged during pregnancy this will slows down blood circulation and can cause pain in legs.
Talk to your doctor
In most pregnant women calf cramps are commonly caused due routine and normal pregnancy changes but it is never wise to take them lightly. For instance, lack of potassium in the diet and calcium deficiency can also lead to this condition. Consult your doctor or midwife for the right treatment for calf cramps.
Stretching after exercise
Pregnant women take longer time to cool down after workouts. During pregnancy heart is pumping faster, therefore when you suddenly stop the blood pools up to the veins in legs and cause calf cramps. To avoid the situation slow down your pace of exercise in the last 5 to 10 minutes. Finishing the workout session with some calf stretches is also a good idea to deal with calf cramps.
Read more articles on Problems during pregnancy.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Nov 22, 2011
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