Pregnancy is a phenomenal journey that every woman goes through differently, simply because their bodies react differently. And it is not an easy job to carry and nurture another life inside you. It is remarkable and highly appreciable and at the same time difficult. There are some common symptoms like morning sickness, fatigue, back pain, constipation, etcetera that every pregnant woman goes through and one such symptom is leg cramps during pregnancy that we will talk about in this blog. Refer to one of the previous blogs on muscle cramps to know in detail about them in general.
When do leg cramps start in pregnancy?
Leg cramps start during the second and third trimester and are mainly experienced at night just when you prepare to go for a good night's sleep as tightness occurs in your calf, foot, or both areas.
Why do leg cramps occur in pregnancy?
There is no specific answer to that as multiple reasons could be associated with it which are mentioned below:
What measures to take to prevent muscle cramps during pregnancy?
Following are the steps to follow to prevent or reduce muscle spasms during pregnancy:
1. Stay hydrated – Drink 8-12 glasses of water every day to keep your muscles hydrated. Your pee is the indicator of fluid level in your body. If it is light yellow or clear, then your body is hydrated but if it is dark yellow then it is a sign of dehydration.
2. Take proper rest – Don’t put a strain on yourself and don’t wear out yourself by doing too much work. Alternate periods of activity with periods of rest every day.
3. Keeping blood circulation in check – Often, the pressure from the growing baby inside you takes a toll on your nerves and blood vessels. It’s advisable to put your feet up as often as possible while seating. Also, don’t sit idle in one position for long. Take a small walk or rotate your feet in intervals. Don’t sit cross-legged as it makes it difficult for blood circulation to occur in calves.
4. Stretching exercises – Before going to bed, doing a calf stretch helps in preventing or easing muscle cramps. Stand facing a wall, at arm’s length. Place your hands on the wall in front of you and then step your right foot back. While keeping your right knee straight and your heels planted on the floor, bend your left knee forward. Keep your left knee bent for 30 seconds or 1 minute while you feel the stretch in your right calf. Switch your legs then and do this three to five times every day before going to bed.
5. Exercise – You need to stay active during pregnancy but don’t overdo it. Consult with your doctor before doing pregnancy-safe activities like prenatal yoga, walking, and swimming. Don’t forget to do a warm-up before and after exercising. Staying active will promote blood circulation and will prevent excess weight gain and muscle cramps.
6. Take a proper diet rich in vitamins and minerals or take prenatal supplements – Intake proper diet containing calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium to avoid deficiency of minerals maintaining healthy muscle function. Drink milk, orange juice and eat bananas to maintain the required levels of minerals in the body to avoid occurring of cramps. You can also take prenatal vitamin and mineral supplements with the consult of your doctor.
7. Wear proper footwear – Wear shoes that offer comfort and support. Keeping your feet relaxed and comfortable will help you in preventing muscle spasms.
Following are the steps to follow to alleviate pain and discomfort:
1. Massage your muscles of foot and calf in slow rhythmic motions with gentle hands.
2. Stretch calf muscles with patience.
3. Apply an ice pack to eradicate pain.
4. Apply heat with a heating pad to relieve the muscles once the pain subsides due to the ice pack.
5. In times of severe and persistent pain, consult your doctor as it can be a blood clot in a vein that needs medical attention.
6. You can also try taking an over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medication, such as tocotrienol. It may also help in stretching the sore muscles gently.
Tocotrienol is the chemical in the vitamin E family. Vitamin E is an essential substance necessary for proper body and brain functioning.
Tocotrienol is found in the oils of rice bran, palm fruit, barley, as well as in oats and wheat germ. But it is present in low quantity and thus, one would need to drink one cup of palm oil each day to ingest the amount of Tocotrienol that experts suggest.
Tocotrienol is also found in synthetic supplements and is the best way to ingest it into the body. Toco-Trio is the synthetic form of Tocotrienol and is greatly effective.
Benefits of Tocotrienol:
1. Improves fracture healing.
2. Neuroprotective effects - Tocotrienol easily reaches the brain and improves brain function and overall health.
3. Anticancer effects – Tocotrienol carries anti-cancer properties in it.
4. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and lowers cholesterol levels – Tocotrienol helps in slowing the build-up of plaque in the arteries and decreases cholesterol levels.
Toco-Trio – a supplement for leg cramps.
Toco-Trio is a new generation Vitamin-E. It has Tocotrienol, Methylcobalamin, Folic Acid, Vitamin B6, Wheat Germ Oil, and COD liver oil.
Uses of Toco-Trio:
1. Toco-Trio helps in improving blood circulation.
2. It regulates the intracellular Calcium/Magnesium in Muscles.
3. It helps in improving glycogen storage in Muscles.
4. It alleviates leg cramps.
5. It ensures faster absorption and assimilation.
6. It ensures greater Intracellular mobility.
In the end, pregnancy is one of the most important and joyous part of every woman’s life. And to experience the true joys of pregnancy, it’s important for every pregnant mother to look after herself and her baby-to-be.