Leg cramps in pregnancy are the worst. If you’ve ever felt that sharp sudden pain up the back of your calf you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Leg cramps, also known as Charley horses, or a sudden spasm and clenching of muscles usually in the calf or foot and sometimes thigh are not dangerous. But that does not mean they don’t hurt like stepping on a Lego at 2 in the morning with bare feet. Maybe it’s something to wish on your worst enemy. But it’s definitely not something you want to define your pregnancy by. And it’s definitely not something you want to pop up in your labor which, if nobody told you, is totally possible.
So how do you get rid of pregnancy leg cramps once and for all? Read on my friend, and you will know exactly what you need to do to treat your pregnancy leg cramps.
The One Question That Reveals The Cause Of Your Pregnancy Leg Cramps.
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If you’re like me, when you start looking for solutions to a problem like leg cramps, you’ve read a dozen articles that all day the same handful of things. Leg cramps are caused by dehydration, lack of electrolytes, exercising your muscles too much etc. There are so many different causes that it can feel overwhelming and confusing trying to find the root cause, the one cause that you need to know about.
Here is the good news. All of these answers are NOT the primary cause of leg cramps.
The cause of pregnancy leg cramps is muscle fatigue. Full stop. Period. End of story.
So yes, just like when you are tired at the end of the day, many things may have played into that feeling. Things, like not stopping to rest, or forgetting to eat or carrying to much stress all, may make you feel fatigued. And if someone were to write an article about the causes of fatigue, it might feel like they were throwing spaghetti at the wall totally guessing what caused your fatigue. But, if you looked at your own day, you could pinpoint it in a minute.
That is the same as leg cramps. Once you read these solutions, you will know exactly which one is best for you because a moment of reflection will help you figure out what is causing your fatigue.
Simple Solutions That Seem Too Easy But Really Work To Relieve Pregnancy Leg Cramps:
1) Eat a banana to give a quick boost in needed minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Potassium is one of three minerals (all electrolytes) that is critical to muscle function. It plays a critical role in muscle contraction, and nerve conduction. Potassium deficiency can present in fatigued muscles, high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat. A few foods high in potassium are bananas, dates, avocados, and potatoes. This is why eating a banana, which provides all three electrolytes, potassium magnesium and calcium can help prevent pregnancy leg cramps.
2) Drink a cup of pregnancy tea to prevent dehydration and provide more of your essential minerals.
Every single time you get dehydrated, your body will lose potassium. If you lose potassium, your muscles will be fatigued. Therefore if you are not drinking fluids, your muscles will fatigue. So start drinking more fluids! Whether is water, CALM, coconut water or tea. Drink. Drink. Drink.
My favorite drink to recommend to pregnant mothers is this prenatal tea by Nil Organics. You will LOVE how it tastes, especially if you add a drop of honey. This tea combines many herbs useful for pregnancy including dandelion, nettle, red raspberry. These herbs nourish the body and help you cultivate health. They are high in all three minerals we’ve discussed, including potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
3) Stand against the wall with towels behind your neck and lower back to relieve the extra pressure placed on your legs caused by poor posture during pregnancy.
Poor posture in pregnancy can mean that your legs are working overtime. If your abdominals are weak or separated, known as Diastasis Recti, you are likely off-balance and using your legs way too much. Standing supported against the wall can relieve extra pressure from your legs, remind your body what correct posture feels like and allow for better circulation. Check out the book Pain-Free for Women for more simple exercises you can do at home to support your posture and relieve many pregnancy pains such as back pain, hip pain, and knee pain.
Also getting rid of heals and switching to a flat shoe such as Vivo Barefoot can help you release extra pressure in your calf, foot, and thighs as you move throughout your day.
4) Massage your legs with a blend of geranium, chamomile, and bergamot to relieve tension and deeply relax your muscles.
Massage and essential oils work together to release and relax muscle tension. They can release lactic acid build-up, increase circulation and numb nerve pain. If you’re experiencing leg cramps during the night, massage your legs for 5 minutes before bed. If you’re experiencing leg cramps during the day, sit down 3 times a day and massage your legs. Overall, these oils are both uplifting and relaxing and used to break cycles of tension. Just what you need if your muscles are fatigued because of stress or overuse.
Pregnancy Leg Cramp Massage Blend
Essential oils can safely help you address many pregnancy complaints. Learn 5 Life-Changing Ways to Use Oils During Pregnancy and start feeling better in your pregnant body today.
5) Sleep supported with plenty of pillows for support to allow for proper circulation and encourage muscle regeneration during the night.
Getting enough sleep during the night is critical to your health. If you’re getting leg cramps in the middle of the night, it’s likely that the way that you are sleeping could be cutting off your circulation. Try adding a pregnancy pillow to support your belly and legs so that you are totally supported as you sleep and you aren’t restricting blood flow.
To learn exactly how to use pregnancy pillows to support you during sleep, make sure to check out my article, How to Get More Sleep Even When You’re Pregnant and Have to Pee.
Are Leg Cramps And Restless Legs The Same Thing?
No, leg cramps are when your muscles are tightly clenching without your control or consent. Restless Legs Syndrome is even your legs won’t stop moving in the middle of the night, even if you are trying to hold still. Check out this article if your symptoms sound more like Restless Legs: Restless Legs Are Real And Pregnant Moms Are No Longer Ignoring Them.
The One Thing You Really Need To Get Rid Of Your Pregnancy Leg Cramps:
I have a dozen guides on natural pregnancy remedies that go over how to use foods, herbs, and essential oils to support a healthy pregnancy. These articles receive thousands of page views every month. But I wonder, how many people actually take the time to implement one solution that they find on my website?
What you really need is not a list of natural solutions, but the motivation to actually do something about it. That is why I created this pregnancy symptoms guidebook to help you create a symptom crushing action plan so that you can make a plan and track your results. That way you know exactly what’s working for you.
Until next time, light love and laughter,