Muscle Cramps During Pregnancy
Unfortunately, muscle cramps during pregnancy are pretty common (and heads up, they can happen during labor too). They typically happen at night while you’re sleeping, which is extremely frustrating since sleep during pregnancy is already difficult.
Starting in my third trimester the lower half of my body decided that it would be fun to cramp up while I was trying to sleep. I would even have dreams my feet were cramped up, but then wake up and realize that it was actually happening. I swear, every muscle from the waist down has cramped up and had its own “individualized cramping episode”.
Curious as to what “the experts” said, I consulted two of my pregnancy texts “Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn” and “The Pregnancy Book“. These books suggested
- stretching the legs/calves before bed
- compression stockings
- staying off the feet during the day as much as possible and
- remedying a mineral imbalance in the body.
The last suggestion, remedying a mineral imbalance in the body, piqued my interest the most. Recently, quite a few people in my life (including my midwife) have suggested magnesium supplementation to remedy these awful leg/foot cramps during pregnancy. I didn’t try it right away, but decided that if the cramps got bad, I would give it a go.
Well, the leg cramps got bad.
Ugh. Starting in the third trimester I found myself abruptly woken up at least once per night with a muscle cramp, forcing me to walk around, practicing my breathing for labor (ha!). I found myself thinking that I needed to find a remedy… NOW.
The thing is, I don’t ever remember having leg cramps this bad in previous pregnancies. I remember the occasional foot/leg cramp, but nothing like this. So, I decided to give the magnesium supplements a try.
Where to Buy?
I bought a supplement called Natural Calm from my local health food store (you can also find this on Amazon) and immediately started taking it before bed.
I paid very good attention to the dosing instructions on the back of the bottle, and you should too. If you don’t, you will likely regret that decision as too much magnesium too fast will give you diarrhea. Your only consolation at that point is hey, at least your legs aren’t cramping anymore. :/
Because I was aware of the diarrhea issue, I took a very conservative approach and started with 1/4 tsp daily. My body didn’t have any negative reactions to 1/4 tsp so I upped it to 1/2 tsp a few days later. A week or so later and I’m now taking 1 tsp daily before bed. No diarrhea!
At one point I upped the dosage to 1+1/2 tsp daily and my stools got TOO soft. I backed down to 1 tsp and everything seemed great.
You guys! It worked!
I am so relieved to have found a solution to muscle cramps during pregnancy because oh my goodness, I don’t know how I could have gone on!
How do people just suffer, legs and feet in pain, and not sleeping well? I was beginning to lose my mind, but thanks to Natural Calm, my legs have calmed down and I’m back to my normal uncomfortable pregnant self. 😉
Last night before bed I was feeling lazy and I decided to not take my supplements. BIG mistake.
Not only did I have dreams my feet were cramped up, I woke up and discovered my nightmare to be true.
I got up twice with muscle cramps; the first time in my toes, and the second time in my calf and beside my knee.
I learned my lesson; that until my body tells me otherwise, I will continue to take this magnesium supplement.
Even More Options
If drinking a fizzy beverage isn’t your thing, you have other options for magnesium supplementation. Ancient Minerals makes a gel and a spray that can be applied topically and is absorbed almost instantly.
According to their label, magnesium supplementation may “restore cellular magnesium levels, protect skin cells, aid detoxification, relieve aches and pains, improve a user’s mood, help relieve stress, and encourage healthy skin tissue.”
I’m not sure about the other claims, but as far as relieving muscle cramps during pregnancy I’m sold!
How About You?
Have you ever suffered from muscle cramps during pregnancy? I’d love to hear what worked or didn’t work for you. Leave me a comment and let me know!
Talk to you soon,
Natural Remedies for Pregnancy Symptoms | Mother Rising
Wednesday 18th of December 2019
[…] Muscle Cramps […]
Wednesday 18th of April 2018
I have started taking cal-mag, a calcium and magnesium supplement and it works like a charm. It can loosen stools, but I have found that helpful because the iron supplement can make me constipated.
Saturday 2nd of December 2017
I have toe cramps even when I am not pregnant. When I am in my third trimester, they increase significantly! The only thing I have found to work is pickle juice. I am able to find bottles of straight pickle juice at sports stores. I just take a couple big swigs of it when I feel a cramp coming on and it stops them instantaneously.
Monday 17th of July 2017
I am in my third trimester with my forth child and I don't remember the leg cramps being this bad. I found if I eat at least one banana a day it would keep the leg cramps away but now I find bananas give me too much gas and they have started bothering my stomach so I had to give up eating them and now the cramps are back worse than ever and I am so drained from it keeping me up half the night .
The Ultimate List of Natural Remedies for Anxiety During Pregnancy
Saturday 14th of January 2017
[…] can reduce anxiety and also eliminate those pesky middle of the night leg cramps! Talk about killing two birds with one […]