leg cramps :o(

Amy - posted on 01/03/2010 ( 41 moms have responded )

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hi, im 30wks pregnant with my second child and every 2wks or so i wake during the night with a severe leg cramp just wondering if any1 has any good advice on how to stop or prevent this from happening. thanx. xx

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Mindy - posted on 01/04/2010

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I had that so many times when I was pregnant, and it hurt so bad I would cry, the doctor told me to eat more pottasium, and that really helped, I just ate lots of bananas

[deleted account]

I had those bad the whole 3rd trimester! I got this info from babycenter... I did these things while pregnant and they did help most of the time.



Try these tips for keeping leg cramps at bay:

• Avoid standing or sitting with your legs crossed for long periods of time.

• Stretch your calf muscles regularly during the day and several times before you go to bed.

• Rotate your ankles and wiggle your toes when you sit, eat dinner, or watch TV.

• Take a walk every day, unless your midwife or doctor has advised you not to exercise.

• Avoid getting too tired. Lie down on your left side to improve circulation to and from your legs.

• Stay hydrated during the day by drinking water regularly.

• Try a warm bath before bed to relax your muscles.

• There's some evidence that taking a magnesium supplement in addition to a prenatal vitamin may help some women. Check with your provider before taking any kind of supplement during pregnancy.



If you do get a cramp, immediately stretch your calf muscles: Straighten your leg, heel first, and gently flex your toes back toward your shins. It might hurt at first, but it will ease the spasm and the pain will gradually go away.

You can try to relax the cramp by massaging the muscle or warming it with a hot water bottle. Walking around for a few minutes may help too.

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41 Comments

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Margaret - posted on 01/27/2010

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Quite often, those leg cramps are a signal that you need more calcium in your diet. Try eating dairy products or ask your doctor to suggest a calcium supplement. You'll notice a big difference fairly quickly. :)

Monica - posted on 01/25/2010

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Mine also was the same way, and I slept with a pillow in between my legs, it helped alot. But of course after my daughter was born, I got blood clots in my legs, so not sure if that was why I had the pains or not. Now I have restless leg syndrom. Good luck..

Zoraida - posted on 01/25/2010

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Hi Amy,
Yes I so remember those muscle spasms. My Ob DR. said I was lacking Potassium and told me to eat bananas. TRy it worked for me. Good Luck and keep me posted.

Maylene - posted on 01/23/2010

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i had that too. try walking more during the day and drink more milk. that helped me alot. in the night when it happens have your husband massage where it hurts.

Nicole - posted on 01/23/2010

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Happened to me with both my kids. It's so painful and awful to be awoken that way. I didn't really find anything that helped, but my OB suggested stretching my legs before bed to loosen the muscles. Hope it helps. It goes away as soon as you have the baby so there's hope!

Penny - posted on 01/22/2010

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I had the same problem when i was pregnant with my first baby...12 yrs ago. my how time flies. anyway, a very dear Dr friend of mine told me to drink tonic water...yes, tonic water. you can buy it at any grocery store or walmart. IT WORKS!!! it doesn't taste the best in the world, but i got some lemon juice and just added a splash or two. and i would drink a cup of that every evening. i am tellin' ya, i never had cramps in my thighs before until i was pregnant. that was the worse place to have them. you couldn't even walk those off. once i started the tonic water, NO MORE CRAMPS!! i have recommended it to everyone i hear complaining of cramps. they are so happy they tried it. and it is perfectly safe for your baby. please give it a try. you will be glad you did!!

Heidi - posted on 01/22/2010

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My Grandmother says that when your legs cramp, pregnant or not, that you are lacking in Potassium. She would make me eat one banana per day & it helped a lot!!!

[deleted account]

It's due to a lack of potassium...I had them too until I started eating a banana every day. It worked! No more leg cramps. Good luck!

Olivia - posted on 01/22/2010

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I am sorry you have them, my doctor said I could try eating more bannanas for the potassium, but other then that you all you can do is grin and bear it. I woke up almost everyother night during the 3 trimester with my first son screaming they hurt so bad, but my hubbie started getting really good at rubbing them out for me =)

Marie - posted on 01/21/2010

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Not to scare you but the next time you see the Dr. ask about getting and ultrasound on your leg ... I had Blood clots in my leg when I was on the pill and then again when I got pregnent . It could be nothing but be safe and get the Dr to check it espially if you have a history or anyone in your family . let me know how it goes

Kerri - posted on 01/21/2010

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Like everyone above me, I agree with adding more potassium and magnesium to your diet, which may help. Here are two links - one for potassium-rich foods, the other for magnesium. If you don't care for bananas (like me!) this will give you other options:



http://www.essortment.com/all/potassiumf...



http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/food/mag...



Additionally, one way to stretch out those muscles is an exercise I learned when I was on the swim team in high school. Find a step - just one, whether it's inside your house or out - and stand with one foot firmly on the step, holding the banister to avoid a fall. Put your other foot on the edge of the step - the toes and ball of your foot on the step, the heel hanging over - and then put weight on that foot. Push your heel toward the ground or step below, while leaning somewhat forward over the remaining steps. This will give a better stretch for your calf muscles than any flat-ground stretch that you can manage. Stretch for about 10-15 seconds, then switch to the other foot. Do this a few times per leg at night before you go to bed, and see if that, along with the addition of potassium/magnesium helps. If not, then it's definitely time to talk to your doctor and explain what you've already tried and see if (s)he has any further ideas. Hope that helps!

Susan - posted on 01/20/2010

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I know this sounds weird, but it worked for me. Eat bananas! Also try propping your feet up on pillows, that helps with circulation and vericose veins. Anytime you can (if you are sitting watching T.V., etc.) prop your feet up. But try the banana thing, it worked for me right away! Ginger (Ginger snap cookies or anything with ginger in it) helps with nausa if that helps anyone.

Jill - posted on 01/20/2010

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I too got them when I was pregnant. Staying hydrated (I know it is hard to do, but necessary), potassium (sure can't hurt), stretching and massage (helps even when you are not pregnant), but the one thing that I never thought of was Magnesium. I play tennis a few times a week and I was getting those same cramps on the court in the middle of my matches, only they were so debilitating that i could not walk. The doctor told me to start taking Magnesium supplements and I (knock wood) have not had another cramp on the court since. It is definitely worth asking your doctor about.

Tracy - posted on 01/19/2010

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When I had leg cramps (felt like charley-horses), my husband used lotion or cream and massaged it for me until it felt better. Such a wonderful guy!

Holly - posted on 01/17/2010

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the only thing I would add is that Pedialyte has worked for me...just to drink some before bed

Suzanne - posted on 01/17/2010

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I used to have them too. Eating bananas can be helpful because they may be due to lack of potassium maybe you need more. My husband used to give my legs a massage and that helps prevents them alot of nights also makes you feel pampered.!!

Melinda - posted on 01/15/2010

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Oh my I remember those nights well. I had them horribly bad for all my kids. In both my legs and my feet! Alot of times the next day I would limp because they had cramped up so severely the night before it would hurt to walk for a day. My OB told me it was a lack of calcium and I think potassium as well.I changed my diet and they did get better but they never went away until I delivered. Depending on the person and how severe they are I am not sure if there is really much you can do. The only that helped me when I did get them was to walk away the cramp no matter how bad it hurt. Massaging helped too even though it was painful while it was cramping. If I stiffened up or stayed still it hurt for a lot longer and felt worse the next day so if the problem persists for you I would say to literally walk it off. Good luck!

Natalie - posted on 01/15/2010

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If you eat a banana every day this should totally diminish! I have had 6 children (6different pregnancies) and this always worked for me!

Laura - posted on 01/14/2010

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My doctor told me to prevent them by not laying on my back at night. If one does come on, try stretching your affected leg out, and then point your toes toward your your knee. These things really helped me!

Judy - posted on 01/14/2010

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I,m telling you this stuff works. Started having a leg cramp in bed this morning got up took some of this. 15 mim later gone and not reacuring like with out it.

Heike - posted on 01/12/2010

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yup, except for the first comment they are all right! you need BANANAS & WATER for more potassium and more magnesium in your diet. And the STRETCHING is true too. And the MASSAGES too (lucky me - my hubby is a massage therapist!)

Anja - posted on 01/12/2010

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My wonderful hubby is a nutritionist and execise physiologist and he says to drink lots of water.... plain water... nothing else.... when the cramps set in and you haven't started drinking water yet, go have a big glass, or keep a bottle by the bed so you don't have to get up....=) let me know if there's anythign we can help with...

Judy - posted on 01/12/2010

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Hylands homopatic for leg cramps W/quinnine. I have suffered leg cramps and other cramps. my whole life this stuff works with in 15 min. with a glass of water. I have to order it on line now because they say it doesn't work but it does every time You probably should ask your doc. first. Potasium tablets help but you have to take them every day and there is no emediet relief. good luck Aval. at Drug Store.com

Letitia - posted on 01/11/2010

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Yes, eat bananas! It is about the only thing. I had cramps with every pregnancy.

Riva - posted on 01/08/2010

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Banana's are high in potassium which helps in preventing leg cramps. I craved them during pregnancy so I ate one almost every day. Also, drinking the recommended amount of water every day (8 cups) helps. Add flavor to it if you have to. And if you're drinking coffee or pop (soda), cut way back. It dehydrates you. I did have a couple leg cramps in the night but they were never severe. I hope this helps you. Leg cramps are no fun.

Cynthia - posted on 01/06/2010

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Aside from more potassium, this can also be caused by lack of calcium. Drink more milk, It works. I got these with my first pregnancy, but drank a lot of milk with my second and third pregnancies and had almost no sign of these cramps. Good luck!

Dora - posted on 01/06/2010

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WHEN I WAS PREGNATE WITH MY SECOND CHILD I ALSO HAD THEM REAL BAD. FIND OUT FROM YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU CAN TAKE SOME POTASSIUM PILL'S OR EVEN EAT MORE FOOD THAT HAVE POTASSIUM IN IT. ARE YOU HAVING A BOY?. I JUST WONDER CAUSE THAT IS WHAT MY SECOND CHILD WAS. NEVER HAD THEM WITH MY FIRST ONE AND I HAD A GIRL. AND WHEN YOU GO TO STREACH YOUR LEG'S BRING YOUR FEET TOWARD'S YOU AND STREACH I FIND THAT HELP ME FROM GETTING OR STOPPING A CRAMP.

Chelsea - posted on 01/04/2010

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stretch your legs out all the way lock the knee, and put your foot in "L" form from your leg a few times before falling asleep, and if you feel one coming do the same exact thing. i had the SAME problem, and this practically prevented them from coming unless i was too late to notice from dead sleep. and eat your banannas they help with cramps, why track coaches tell their team to eat them as well. and don't tense your legs when you crawl in bed, if i do i know its going to come up lol. best luck to you, its one of the worse feelings in the world, i hope our advice helped!

Maria - posted on 01/04/2010

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Quoting Carrie:

An old football player told me to drink pickle juice; he said that's what his coach would make the players do if they cramped up. Can you imagine more lovely words to say to a pregnant woman? Anway, something in the pickle juice sure did work, and it gave me free reign to be even nuttier in my preggo eating habits than I already was!


Lol...Had no problems with that, either, Carrie. I had cravings for pickles and soft ice cream!

Maria - posted on 01/04/2010

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Hi, Amy. I realize that being pregnant is tough, but hang in there, sweetie. Have you been drinking lots of water to hydrate yourself? Remember, you're drinking for two. Unfortunately, it does happen, but a few leg stretching exercises can help. Ask your doctor which ones will help prevent and relieve leg cramps as different exercises target different muscles. Also, I found that massages and keeping my feet up on the couch helps minimize the cramps. Hope this information helps.

Carrie - posted on 01/04/2010

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An old football player told me to drink pickle juice; he said that's what his coach would make the players do if they cramped up. Can you imagine more lovely words to say to a pregnant woman? Anway, something in the pickle juice sure did work, and it gave me free reign to be even nuttier in my preggo eating habits than I already was!

Maggie - posted on 01/03/2010

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you need more potassium in your diet. Eat bananas or kiwi. Also drink more water.
To prevent them in the meantime until you potassium levels come up a bit you can do some stretches before going to bed. just flex the muscle and relax it alternately 5 or 6 times.
When you do get a cramp just put your leg flat and pull your toes up - it stretches the muscle and stops the cramp.

Jennifer - posted on 01/03/2010

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A coworker told me she has a home remedy book and it says to place an opened bar of soap between your sheet and mattress(any type of soap will work) this is supposed to keep your legs from being tired and restless. I tried this and it did seem to help some although I did not have actual cramps my legs feel tight and drawn and want to jerk when they are tired , I was impressed that something so simple could help. It sure can't hurt anything, I placed mine near the foot of the bed between mine and my husbands legs. Goodluck :)

Maybelin - posted on 01/03/2010

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I'm sorry but there is nothing you can do about the leg cramp. It happens to a lot of pregnant woman.

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