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Leg Cramps & Pregnancy: Causes & Prevention Which Every Pregnant Woman Must Know

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Leg Cramps & Pregnancy

Photo by Juan Encalada on Unsplash

You may not see your feet while standing during your second or third trimester, but you certainly feel them. The leg cramps and pain pregnant women go through are excruciating and exhausting. But you don’t need to dismiss it as another inconvenience of pregnancy. You can do a lot to prevent these bouts of leg pain. Read on to more!

This post talks about taking care of your feet during pregnancy to avoid leg cramps. But before jumping the guns straight to that, let’s understand the reason behind this painful side effect of pregnancy.

The Causes of Leg Cramps in Pregnancy

Following are the potential causes for the sudden tightening and pain in your leg muscles, which generally happens at night:

Increased Blood Volume

Do you know the volume of your blood becomes twice during pregnancy? This is to provide proper nutrition to the growing baby in your womb. But it also causes poor blood circulation leading to leg pain, cramps, and swelling.

DVT Blood Clot

Pregnant women have a high risk of developing DVT (deep vein thrombosis). You get a blood clot in the deep veins, mainly in your legs in this condition. The clotting of blood is a natural defence mechanism of your body to reduce blood loss during labour and delivery.

Dehydration

Dehydration is the primary cause of leg cramps and pain in general and during pregnancy. But there are high chances of dehydration during pregnancy. This is because your body uses a lot of water to form amniotic fluid, improve digestion, produce extra blood and flush out toxins more efficiently.

Low Levels of Calcium & Magnesium

Pregnancy hormones contribute to the low absorption of certain minerals and vitamins in your body. Common deficiencies occurring in pregnancy are calcium and magnesium. This issue may elevate if your diet is poor in these vitamins and minerals.

Prevention of Leg Cramps, Pain, and Swelling in Pregnant Women

Here comes the best part! Although leg cramps and pain during pregnancy aren’t entirely preventable, you can take the following steps to reduce their intensity and duration:

Wearing Copper Compression Socks

Your doctor will agree that wearing compression socks during pregnancy provides comfort. The compression socks aid the valves of blood vessels to move closer to reduce leg inflammation. Moreover, you can significantly increase the benefits of compression socks by wearing copper compression socks.

When copper is infused in the socks, its healing properties, such as anti-fungal effect and enhanced thermal regulation, are added to your regular compression socks.

Wearing Pregnancy-friendly Footwear

The market is full of comfortable footwear with the proper support surrounding your heels. This footwear is specially designed for orthopaedic conditions and pregnancy. No! You don’t need to wear boring shoes for 9 months. You can find many types of pregnancy footwear in attractive designs and colours.

Staying Hydrated

As mentioned earlier, dehydration is one of the leading causes of leg cramps. Ensure that you are properly hydrated. The thumb rule is to drink 8-10 glasses of liquid, but pregnant women have different water needs.

You can observe the colour of your pee to check if you are well hydrated. Dark yellow colour = drink more water, and light yellow or pale colour = you are on the right track!

Eating a Healthy & Balanced Diet

A wholesome diet full of nutrients is your ticket to good health during pregnancy. Especially eat food rich in calcium and magnesium to avoid leg pain. Yoghurt is a good source of calcium. It’s also good for constipation, another troublesome side-effect of pregnancy.

Bananas, nuts, and seeds are good mood food, and they are also rich in magnesium. Take your pick but eat maximum food, full of nutrients and vitamins. If your doctor permits, you can add magnesium supplements to your prenatal vitamins.

Being Active Throughout the Day

It’s crucial to be active during pregnancy. Being inactive for a longer time leads to leg cramps and pain. It also adversely affects your mood. Yes, you need rest and can’t do vigorous exercises. But your legs will thank you for keeping the blood circulation going by walking around every 30 minutes and doing light chores.

So you can walk, stretch and roam around wearing compression socks during pregnancy!

Caution: This advice doesn’t apply if your doctor suggests maximum rest or bed rest to you.

Time to Visit Doctor!

Leg cramps and pain are mostly normal and not an indication of trouble for pregnant women. And you can ease the discomfort by applying the tips provided here, including wearing compression socks. However, if you see symptoms like excessive swelling, warmth, and redness in your legs, it’s time to call your doctor immediately. Better safe than sorry!

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Rory is the R&D Director and passionate entrepreneur, fascinated by the workings of the human body and natural solutions for common health problems. He’s single-minded in his aim to make Copper Defence a brand that’s recognized across the globe, by partnering with global brands to make these high-tech materials easily accessible for everyone. If you’d like to get in touch, email Rory at Rory@copperclothing.com or visit copperclothing.com for copper-infused clothing.

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