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Leg cramps are unconscious muscle contractions affecting calves, legs and often the upper-leg. The painful sensation is very normal during pregnancy, frequently occurring during the night. Even though most common throughout the 3rd trimester, you might experience irregular cramping early in the second and first trimesters as well.

1. Why does cramping during pregnancy occur?

The precise causes leading to this continue to be unclear as it might result from a number of factors. The intense job of carrying all of that additional infant weight could be the trigger behind leg cramping towards late-pregnancy. The growing womb puts significant pressure on the primary vein in your legs.

The increasing progesterone levels also plays its part of impacting on the tone of your leg muscle, is usually the principal factor for cramps that occur in early pregnancy. However it’s quite difficult to determine any particular element behind such severe cramps during the night.

2. Severe fatigue & high body fluids

Severe fatigue and a high body-fluid amounts are thought to be accountable for these night time leg cramps. Nutrition insufficiency triggers a number of pain and problems while pregnant, and of course can also be a factor when it comes to cramping. Cramps during pregnancy may also be exacerbated by pre-pregnancy issues, body mechanics, misalignment and as previously mentioned, fluids and nutritional issues.
pregnancy cramping

3. Pre-pregnancy misalignment

Sometimes we have misalignments in our bodies that we go through live unaware of, or at least until they cause a noticeable problem. Often a long standing or undiagnosed misalignment in the hips and/or pelvis can cause lower leg cramps. The same can apply if there is an imbalance in the shoulders and/or upper back might – this can also increase the chance of lower leg cramps.

4. Body mechanics

A typical cause for cramps that occur whether you are pregnant or not is incorrect body mechanics during exercise. For example it could be that you might not have the proper type of walking shoes. You can check body mechanics with your personal trainer, chiropractor, osteopath, Alexander technique practitioner or cranial sacral/zero balance therapist.

5. Body chemical balance should also be considered

Muscle cramping related to exercise could be a result of discrepancy in the body chemical balance – nutrients like potassium, calcium and magnesium. It could be that an E vitamin deficiency may also cause muscle cramps.

6. Correct hydration

If you continue to exercise during pregnancy, it is even more important than ever to get the correct hydration. Drink sufficient water before, during and after exercise, but be cautious not more than hydrate during exercise. Even though basic exercise hydration recommendations may be followed, it’s too easy to over hydrate and recommend a formula for identifying perspiration rate and the appropriate quantity of fluid intake during exercise.

Drinking a lot of or not enough during exercise may cause problems and you must be aware of your very own fluid needs during exercise. The actual quantity water consumed during exercise must be based on a person’s perspiration rate.

To determine perspiration rate consider yourself before and one hour after exercise. Then add in the quantity of fluid consumed throughout the workout. A lack of 1 pound of bodyweight is comparable to 16 ounces of fluid. If you lost one pound during a good workout and drank 16 ounces throughout the exercise then your hourly perspiration rate is 32 ounces. A fat gain from pre to post workout implies that you’ve over hydrated both before or throughout the workout. As well as maintaining proper hydration during exercise, it’s vital to avoid over hydration before exercising.

To maintain good hydration throughout the day, drink 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight during the day. Muscle cramps are also related to acid/alkaline balance. An acidic body is probably feel achy and crampy after physical exertion. Exercise leads to lactic acid and if you’re already acidic a rise in lactic acid may trigger muscle cramps and achiness.

Whenever you perspire you’re eliminating acids from your own body and if you do not shower these acids can be re-absorbed.

So while suitable exercise is a good thing during your pregnancy, be sure to have an awareness of these guidelines also.


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