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Leg Cramps in Pregnancy

Leg cramps are common and usually occur in the last half of pregnancy. The cramps are due to muscle spasms and often occur in the calves at night. They are thought to be secondary to buildup of lactic acid but the exact reason is unknown.

A study was done showing a possible benefit to treating leg cramps with magnesium supplementation (Magnesium comes in 250mg tablets and should be dosed as ½ tablet in the morning and a full tablet in the evening). Stretching exercises may also be an effective preventative measure (these are done twice a day in a standing position, pushing up against a wall, holding for 10-30 seconds for a total of 5 repetitions)

If a cramp occurs, try flexing your foot (not pointing it!), walking, or shaking your leg followed by elevation of the affected leg.

Other remedies include:

  • A hot shower or warm tub bath
  • Massage of the affected muscles with ice
  • Regular exercise
  • Drinking more water



RDA recommendations


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