Dealing with pregnancy cramps is not at all a tough task. Most women do face this not-so serious botheration in the different stages of pregnancy. Women may experience mild to moderate cramps in the abdomen or legs throughout the term. Cramps in the calf muscles are observed while stretching the legs before getting off the bed early morning.
Implantation of the embryo in the uterine wall, stretching of ligaments, gas and constipation often give rise to abdominal cramps during pregnancy. Pregnancy cramps can be treated naturally, but seek medical consultation if these are accompanied by bleeding, lightheadedness, abnormal vaginal discharge, fever and chills.
Severe abdominal cramps may indicate ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, which calls for an immediate medical attention. Pregnancy cramps may not be serious in most cases but are painful. You need to follow some tips with patience while dealing with this problem.
Tips to Deal With Abdominal Cramps In Pregnancy
Keep in your mind that mild abdominal cramps are normal during pregnancy. Therefore, relax and lie down for some time if you feel mild cramps in your belly. Resting for some time will ease out abdominal cramping naturally. There is no need to panic. Panic and stress aggravate cramps. Try to bend on the back side to relieve the pain, but avoid overstretching as you may end up with a back pain. Avoid hurrying while changing your positions and postures.
Apply Hot Water Bag
Your hot water bag may come to your help in dealing with pregnancy cramps. Place the hot water bag on your belly for a few minutes to get relief from the painful cramps. Make sure that the temperature of the water in the bag is within tolerable limits. There is no need to fill the bag with very hot water. Little warmth from the hot water bag can provide you quick relief from abdominal cramps.
Have A Warm Bath
Relaxing in a hot water bath for 15-20 minutes can be very useful in reducing abdominal cramps in pregnancy. The hot water relaxes the abdominal muscles and ligaments and the cramps subside within few minutes. A hot shower is equally beneficial to get rid of this problem.
Involve In Light Chores
Having enough rest during pregnancy is essential but that does not imply that you need to remain physically inactive throughout the term. Engaging yourself in light household chores is one of the best ways to deal with pregnancy cramps but avoid overstretching.
Take More Fiber
If constipation is the underlying factor of your abdominal cramps in pregnancy, then you need to have a look at your daily diet. Take more fiber like leafy greens and fresh vegetables to enable smooth defecation. Guavas and corns are excellent natural laxatives to keep your bowel healthy in pregnancy providing a permanent relief from the abdominal cramps.
Reduce the Frequency of Love Making
It is not that you need to sacrifice your love life in pregnancy but keep it slow and low. Vigorous sexual intercourse can cause abdominal cramps. You may experience these cramps along with mild backache while reaching orgasm. Excitement of orgasm gives rise to muscular contractions that ripple through the vagina to the uterus causing cramps. If the cramps are mild, a gentle massage after orgasm can work. Abstain from vaginal intercourse if you experience severe cramps.
Tips To Deal With Leg Cramps In Pregnancy
You may experience cramps in the calf muscles and foot during pregnancy. These painful involuntary muscular contractions are not serious but can cause extreme discomfort.
Medical attention is absolutely necessary if cramps are accompanied by redness and swelling in the legs. Here are a few tips to deal with leg cramps in pregnancy.
Be Active In Your Pregnancy
Lazing throughout the pregnancy may not be beneficial to you. You need to remain active in this period through light physical exercises and stress free chores to prevent leg cramps. Go for swimming or practice specific yoga postures. Mayoclinic.com strongly recommends practicing light physical exercises under the guidance of your doctor.
Avoid Sitting Or Standing For Long Hours
The expanding uterus prevents normal blood circulation to the lower proximities of the body. Additional weight of the growing fetus also exerts pressure while standing or sitting for a long time. Leg cramps also aggravate while standing on hard surfaces for long hours. The muscles get fatigued giving rise to painful cramps. Avoid sitting in the cross legged position for long as it also inhibits normal blood circulation.
Elevate Your Legs While Resting
Americanpregnancy.org advises to keep your legs elevated while lying down. You can place two pillows beneath your legs to get the desired elevation. Keep your legs elevated whenever you get the opportunity. You can place your tired legs on another chair if you are bound to sit for a long time in your workplace. Elevating your legs relaxes the fatigued muscles and improves blood circulation gradually easing out the cramps.
Take Short Walks
Take short walks whenever you experience cramping in the legs. Walking improves the blood circulation and the cramps ease away within few minutes. Five minutes of walking in a slow pace can alleviate the painful leg cramps.
Sleep On Your Left Side
Sleeping on the left side lessens the pressure exerted by the growing fetus on the main blood vessels enabling better blood circulation. If you lie on your back, the pressure exerted by the fetus restricts the blood circulation in the main blood vessels causing painful nocturnal leg cramps.
Stretch Your Legs
Do some stretching before going to bed at night. Stand away from the wall at an arm’s length distance and place your palm on the wall. Standing in this position, move your right foot behind the left one. Bend your left leg slowly keeping the right leg straight with the right heel touching the floor.
Hold this position for 30 seconds keeping your back straight. Avoid moving your feet inward or outward. Repeat the posture with another leg.
Check Your Fluid Intake
You need to increase your fluid intake during pregnancy. Profuse sweating due to hot and humid climate often causes dehydration aggravating leg cramps in pregnancy. Many women ignore this factor and suffer badly. Drink at least two liters of water daily. You may need more depending upon your body weight and climatic conditions. Drinking bland water may seem to be punishing at times but the taste of fresh lime juice, butter milk and tender coconut water will encourage you more more fluid intake.
Opt for Magnesium Rich Foods Or Supplements
Magnesium deficiency may enhance leg cramps during pregnancy. Though the evidences supporting this fact are limited, but you can try magnesium supplements with due medical consultation. Mayoclinic.com suggests taking magnesium rich foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans to deal with this problem.