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Leg Cramps

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

It started 2 days ago, woke me up out a sound sleep - one in each calf and WOW did it hurt!! Since then its happening every night. I looked it up and apparently, this isn't uncommon in 2nd/3rd trimester. Now this is a new one to me - I hadn't heard about this at all. It said it is usually linked to deficiencies in calcium or maybe potassium, but I doubt it, considering my diet (maybe I should be on a bananas and tums regimen ). I wondered if it had to do with accidentally sleeping on my back.

Anyone else with this? It HURTS!
post #2 of 7

Your body can burn through a lot more calcium than you realize during pregnancy. It might really help to start taking a Calcium/Magnesium supplement every day after dinner. Beware of tums, though--the calcium from that stuff isn't very well absorbed in the body, and it can crystalize in the placenta.

I had leg cramps with my last pregnancy, but this time I've been a lot more disciplined about taking my supplements...it could be coincidence, but no leg cramps.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have heard that about Tums, that its not a good source of calcium, but yet they still advertise it as a valid way for women to get calcium by taking two a day. I'm trying to limit it but the reflux for me has been so bad, I'm on the verge of vomiting all day, and it doesn't matter what I eat or what position I'm in.

Anyway...any suggestions on potassium or calcium supplements to take during pregnancy? I've been eating a lot of milk, cheese and kale, so I know I'm getting some.
post #4 of 7
I think leg cramping during pregnancy is mostly due to the increase of fluids in your body, although making sure you get enough calcium, etc. is always a good idea. I don't know if you've tried this, but when you get a cramp, try flexing your toes up toward your leg (the opposite of pointing them). I've found this gets rid of them pretty quickly.
post #5 of 7
This review (http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab000121.html) says there is no evidence to suggest that calcium supplements do anything for leg cramps, but that potassium and sodium matter more. My midwife emphasizes that pregnant women *need* salt in their diet.

On the other hand, calcium is important for other reasons, but it sounds like you're getting enough. Consumer Reports had a good article this summer about calcium supplements.
post #6 of 7
I learned fast with my son's pregnancy to always stretch with my toes pointed upward, to never fully point my toes while stretching and I never had another leg cramp after that. My physical therapist (for my hypermobility) recommends standing and going up on the balls of your feet 10 times int he morning and at night to help loosen and get stuff moving in your calves, which I've been doing this pregnancy and have not had any leg cramps yet. Painful suckers, aren't they? UGH! I remember them so clearly, lol.
post #7 of 7
I got intermittent leg cramps last pregnancy and this time I've had a few--mostly while dealing with a stomach bug. I wonder whether my BRAT diet contributed to the cramps. I usually consume a lot of calcium in my diet, but I cut out most dairy for a week and that's when they occurred.
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