Leg cramps are a total drag. If you’ve never had them, you might be totally unaware of this problem, so I’m going to give you the inside info.
Leg cramps are a total drag. That’s it. That’s the info.
Seriously, though, when I was pregnant the 2nd and 3rd times, I had leg cramps.
As a fun bonus, I actually had them 3 different ways.
When I was pregnant with my 2nd kid, I’d get random, spasm-y cramps down in my calves during the day. And at night, I’d get what’s known as “restless leg” syndrome, which is fairly common in pregnancy.
I kept feeling like I needed to move my legs. And I’d also get these weird cramps in my calves that would come on suddenly — like someone was squeezing my legs too tightly. It was fun times.
When I was pregnant with my 3rd kid, I didn’t have restless leg syndrome but I would get these annoying cramps in my upper thighs. My hip flexor muscles would seize up and twitch for a few minutes. Really, really fun times.
Restless leg syndrome and leg cramps are fairly common during pregnancy. According to one study I looked at, between 10 and 40% of women experience restless leg syndrome or leg cramps during pregnancy. So not only is it uncomfortable and annoying — it’s also common.
Low iron or folic acid are often blamed for restless leg syndrome, as well as leg cramps. Sometimes it’s blamed on a lack of exercise or movement or not drinking enough water. And all of this can be true, which is why when my legs bugged me during pregnancy, I upped my hydration and folic acid intake.
I also did what I usually do when my body is freaking out. I’d breathe and ground myself. Then I’d move my body. Sometimes self-massage would be enough to temporarily relieve the cramps. But often, I’d need to do a few leg and hip stretches help my legs feel better.
2 years ago, when I was still pregnant with Nettie, I created a video of all of my favorite movement and stretches to do when my leg cramps flared up. (She turns 2 this Saturday, by the way!!!!)
While this practice won’t eliminate your legs cramps forever, they will alleviate the discomfort for awhile — long enough for you to feel some sweet relief.
Experiencing restless leg syndrome or leg cramps?
Try this practice to get some relief.
(And get more iron/folic acid/water, too!)