Nighttime toe/calf cramps, anyone? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 10-17-2007, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know this sounds bizarre, but it never happened to me before the pregnancy...

Last night I woke up with my left-foot toes in a muscle spasm, all curled up. My calf was tight and very painful. It took some deep breathing and massage, but it did loosen up and go away. This happened to my right foot/calf about two weeks ago.

I used to do a LOT of stretching, yoga, pilates before the pregnancy, but I'm on doctor's recommendations not to exercise. Could this be the cause? Or is this something that happens during pregnancy?

All advice/suggestions welcome!!
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#2 of 20 Old 10-17-2007, 03:20 PM
 
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Flexing my foot is the best way to stop/fix a cramp. In fact, pointing my toys always gaves me cramps and I believe is also a pregnancy no no. While sleeping or under the sheets, it's easy for your feet to accidently point which causes cramps.

Extra potassium (like eating a banana before bedtime) helps prevent cramps as well.

Is your doctor really counting yoga or simple stretching as exercise? You might want to talk to him/her about what would be allowed. I would think there would be quite a few simple floor exercises your could do that would not put stress on your body.
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#3 of 20 Old 10-17-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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The Ann Douglas book makes this seem like a fairly common ocurrance. I haven't gotten any pregnancy-related ones yet, but typically these cramps come from dehydration and/or low potassium. So make sure you're getting plenty of those.
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#4 of 20 Old 10-17-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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This is a common pregnancy symptom. I got it last time, and it's starting up again already. I would do stretching before bed and during the day (I can't believe you're not allowed to do YOGA! Or even stretches???????), and try taking a Cal/Mag supplement--that can help too.

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#5 of 20 Old 10-17-2007, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for these quick replies!!

I know, no stretching/yoga seems extreme, but I'm carrying twins, I've been spotting for a month, have a blood clot at the bottom of my uterus and a friable cervix. I'm just grateful I'm not on bedrest...
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#6 of 20 Old 10-17-2007, 03:53 PM
 
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This has happened to me a few times. In general, pregnant or not, I get more cramps the more dehydrated I am. Maybe more water would help?
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#7 of 20 Old 10-17-2007, 04:02 PM
 
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It has happened to me with each of my pregnancies. But this time I'm getting them in my toes, arches of my feet, and calves. Makes DTD interesting when you get a cramp mid way through the fun.

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#8 of 20 Old 10-17-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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I haven't had any yet (knock on wood) but do recall it from pregnancy #1. Not pleasant. I would suggest taking a cal/mag supplement before bed. It may help with the leg cramps. It's also great for strong bones and teeth (for you wee one too) and the added bonus is that it relaxes your body and helps you sleep better.
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#9 of 20 Old 10-17-2007, 09:01 PM
 
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I jogged through a lot of my pregnancy and I *still* had those cramps, so I don't think they're caused by lack of exercise.

For me, they cleared up very quickly when I flexed my foot. Do NOT point your toes when these come on. Flex your foot back towards your leg.

And calcium/magnesium/potassium might help.
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#10 of 20 Old 10-17-2007, 10:01 PM
 
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I am so with you. I have them pretty endlessly at night. The only thing that has helped is tylenol.
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#11 of 20 Old 10-17-2007, 10:53 PM
 
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I have had them really badly in some pregnancies. I know this sounds a little weird, but one thing that has helped me is to actually wrap my ankles with an ace bandage, or even a hankerchief before bed. The trick is to wrap it so that you can't accidentally point your feet....kind of like the girl scout sprained ankle method. The other thing you can do is make sure that your feet aren't under a heavy blanket, as that can make you point your feet in your sleep. Like everyone else said, pointing is bad, flexing is key!
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#12 of 20 Old 10-17-2007, 11:11 PM
 
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Burt's bee's makes a "mama bee" leg creme for pregnancy--I got some for my achy/cramping legs, and it is heavenly. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

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#13 of 20 Old 10-18-2007, 01:23 AM
 
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I got that with my previous pg's and adding a banana to my evening routine helped. Stretching/yoga didn't help me with that cramping (but did a world of good for my aching back and hips).
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#14 of 20 Old 10-18-2007, 01:30 AM
 
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Read through the replies and was suprised to not see the cause/cure anywhere. The cause of leg cramps is lakc of calcium. I got these horrible cramps every night. And the toe pointing/flexing caused and relieved them. However, one I started taking a Calcium/Magnesium supplemant, (along with my Pre Natal, of course), the cramps stopped! If I forgot to take it one day, I would get the cramps again.
Worked for me, good luck, everyone!
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#15 of 20 Old 10-18-2007, 09:38 AM
 
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Oh boy, do I ever get these! 2 nights ago I could actually FEEL the huge knots in my calves with my hands I do take cal-mag and it helps some, but I think I'll try throwing in a banana before bed, too. (I drink absurd amounts of water so I know I'm not dehydrated). I also do yoga and exercise regularly.
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#16 of 20 Old 10-18-2007, 05:26 PM
 
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Haven't had one yet this pg but know they're comming... I have had success with the whole potassium/cal/mag supplement thing And the Burts Bees creme sounds great!
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#17 of 20 Old 10-20-2007, 10:02 AM
 
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When I got these a LOT in my first pregnancy, the ONLY thing that made it go away, almost instantly, was standing up and putting my foot on the floor with my weight on that leg. I wish I had tried this sooner because the cramps would wake me at night and flexing hurt too much. Tried exercise, bananas, Cal-Mag, acupuncture, muscle rub and massage before learning this trick. I hope it helps you!!
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#18 of 20 Old 10-20-2007, 03:20 PM
 
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Yeah, it's amazing what flexing your foot will do. I told my MIL about that trick, and now she never has problems with charley horses like she used to.
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#19 of 20 Old 10-20-2007, 05:32 PM
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Try stretching your calf muscles before bed and don't point your toes when you wake up. I got the cramps really bad with one of my kids. I'm getting htem again with this pregnancy, but so far nothing too bad.

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#20 of 20 Old 10-21-2007, 09:34 PM
 
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I get them when I stretch to wake up in the morning and forget not to point my toes. Yeowch! They hurt! But easily fixed by flexing and just waiting it out (and unpointing!)

I don't think it's dangerous, just sore!
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