Beginning in the second half of the second trimester, many pregnant women start to get leg cramps at night. They’re usually cramps concentrated in one or both of the calves and they can be painful enough to wake women up. The cramps are referred to as “charley horses” and, luckily, in most cases, while they can be very painful, they only last briefly.
Here’s what to do if you’re suffering from leg cramps while pregnant.
Some things to consider doing if you’re experiencing these cramps frequently, is to stretch your calves throughout the day and especially before going to bed and to make sure you’re drinking enough water as dehydration can exacerbate the situation. You may also want to speak with your doctor about adding a calcium/magnesium supplement or, try a magnesium lotion. If none of that is working and you’re still hit with charley horse pain, try to straighten your leg and flex your foot with your toes straight up and breath through it. A gentle massage of the calf can also help relax the area.
If you’re finding that the leg cramps don’t go away within a a few minutes or if you’re experiencing swelling, redness or difficulty walking, reach out to your healthcare provider right away.