Pregnant woman having a cramp in her feet Pregnant woman having a cramp in her feet

Leg cramps during pregnancy

Muscle cramps during pregnancy are far from rare. These painful symptoms increase particularly in the second trimester. Pregnant women often complain of cramp in their feet or buttocks. But night-time leg cramps are particularly common during pregnancy and expectant mothers, often abruptly jerking them awake. They are mostly cause by a magnesium deficiency. Read here about why pregnant women in particular often suffer from cramp and what they can do to combat it.

Leg cramps during pregnancy: causes and symptoms

Leg cramps are common during pregnancy and are an alarm signal that magnesium levels are depleted. They typically consist of a sudden-onset, stabbing pain in the calf accompanied by stiffening of the muscles. Leg cramps mostly occur at night. They are particularly common in pregnant women, since their magnesium levels are subject to daily fluctuations, and are lower in the early mornings than during the day. Pregnant women also have a higher magnesium requirement since increased amounts of magnesium is eliminated via urine as a result of hormonal changes.

Breastfeeding mothers should also take particular care: Their daily magnesium requirement is even higher at this time, as they are also supplying their child with the vital nutrient in their breast milk.

Using magnesium to combat muscle cramps during pregnancy

If muscle cramps occur during pregnancy: Act immediately and consult your gynaecologist to determine the cause! The doctor will often diagnose magnesium deficiency as the trigger. If this is the case, a tried and tested solution is to take magnesium products at sufficiently high strengths, such as Biolectra® Magnesium 365 mg fortissimum Effrvescent Tablets. These can be taken for prolonged periods following consultation with a doctor.

This allows your magnesium levels to be gradually topped up. That doesn’t just alleviate the leg cramps: magnesium performs numerous important functions during pregnancy that also affect the healthy growth of the child.

One of these functions is in cell division. Maintaining an adequate supply of magnesium is also important during breastfeeding, for the same reason, as the mineral is transferred to the child through breast milk. So, mothers and pregnant women need to take leg cramps seriously and take quick action to combat these symptoms.

Tips for when you have leg cramps during pregnancy

If you’ve ever experiences leg cramp, you’ll know the feeling all too well: The pain mostly comes on so unexpectedly that you feel terrified: But even when the leg cramps are very painful, expectant mothers should not suddenly jump up. That’s because there’s no feeling in the cramped leg and there’s a high risk of injuring yourself. Instead: Sit up and press your foot against a wall. Stretch out your leg! Then walk around a little and gently massage your calf muscles, or get your partner to massage them.

Preventing muscle cramps during pregnancy

Leg cramps are painful, annoying and may rob you of one or two hours of sleep. So, what can you do to stop them occurring in the first place?

  • Diet that is rich in magnesium
  • Taking a magnesium product early on after consulting a doctor
  • Adequate fluid intake
  • Regular exercise such as swimming, yoga
  • Putting your legs up more frequently
  • Contrast showers
  • Massage

If symptoms still occur, then you should always consult a doctor if you have muscle cramps during pregnancy.

Other causes of leg cramps during pregnancy

In many cases, leg cramps may be caused by something other than magnesium deficiency. So, you should consult a doctor at the onset of the symptoms to determine the precise cause. The doctor can then suggest an appropriate treatment. Other potential triggers of these painful cramps may be, for example, a trapped nerve or a circulatory disorder. Physical strain is also a risk factor. But pregnant women shouldn’t take it easy – lack of exercise might also be the reason for these symptoms. And finally, sleeping in the wrong position can also increase the tendency to night-time leg cramps during pregnancy.