26.03.2014

What to do when your pregnant and your legs hurt

You're probably already having a hard enough time catching z's these days, with your belly getting bigger by the day and your mind on overdrive – and leg cramps aren't helping.
While getting off your feet and sinking into that mattress should be a welcome relief from the day, leg pain during pregnancy can seriously cramp your slumber style. Alternate periods of activity with periods of rest, and put your feet up as often as you can when you're seated. Eat a well-balanced diet that includes lots of calcium (try yogurt, which may also help with pregnancy constipation) and magnesium (bananas are full of it). Straighten your leg and gently flexing your ankle and toes back toward your shins several times. Really bad cramps (like a charley horse) can cause pain for a few days, and that's nothing to worry about.
These painful spasms radiate through the calves and up the legs are very common among the expectant set – especially at night. Various theories blame fatigue from carrying pregnancy weight, compression of the blood vessels in the legs, and possibly diet — an excess of phosphorus and a shortage of calcium or magnesium. These spasms can radiate up and down your calves during the day, but they're usually more noticeable at night, when fatigue and fluid accumulation are at their peak (and when you have all that quiet and stillness to ponder them). Before you head to bed, stand about two feet away from a wall and put your palms flat against it. While the evidence is still shaky as to whether these two nutrients for sure help with cramps, it never hurts to eat plenty of the healthy foods that contain them (just never take a vitamin supplement during pregnancy without talking to your doctor first).
But if the pain is severe and persistent (and if you notice swelling or redness in the area), talk to your practitioner – in some rare cases you could have a blood clot that requires medical treatment. They usually start in the second trimester around week 19 of pregnancy and last through the third trimester.
Leg cramps are especially common in the second half of pregnancy, when pregnancy weight gain, increasing swelling, and overall fatigue are at their high points – and interruptions to your sleep are most frustrating.
In fact, you are not alone.Foot pain and aching legs is one of the common complaints from pregnant woman (even for experienced mothers!) other than morning sickness, backache, nausea and vomiting or stretch marks.
However, this problem is often not given much thought as most expected mothers believed that it is the “standard norm” throughout the pregnancy period. This is caused by the increase hormones of estrogen and relaxin during pregnancy that causes ligament laxity between the heel and foot bones.


In addition, it increases your foot size which explains why your previous heels or shoes do not fit in to your feet when you are pregnant.On the other hand, weight gain during pregnancy occurs due to the growing uterus (womb), developing fetus (baby), additional water retention and increased breast size. This increase in body weight puts additional pressure on your knees, ankles and feet that adds on to the pain which you are experiencing. Besides, it also causes your feet to roll inwards abnormally and you can feel the strain when you walk.Prevention Tips For Flat Feet Look for “ready-made foot orthotics” that comes with good arch support to provide balancing and comfort. A pair of soft slippers will serve as a cushion between your feet and the ground.Elevate your legs by resting your feet on a stool while you are sitting down. This helps to relax your feet and improves blood circulation.If there is pain in the arch, you can try rolling a frozen water bottle under the arch two times a day.
These factors may lead to intense heel pain (plantar fasciitis), arch pain in the ball of the foot and chronic arch fatigue. The development of flat fleet and natural weight gain shifted your body’s center of gravity and affects how you stand or walk. At times, you may even lose your balance if you are not careful enough.Edema Edema or swollen feet is a common foot problem during pregnancy whereby there is painful swelling in the feet or ankles which is caused by accumulation of excess fluids and blood in your tissues. It is usually seen during the third trimester when pregnancy hormones results to an increase (up to 50%) in blood volume and fluids that supply the essential nutrients to the baby.
And the reason why it affects only the feet and ankles is due to the “law of gravity” that ‘encourages’ the extra fluids to go all the way down to the bottom.Another reason is because of the growing womb that exerts pressure on the smaller blood vessels which are in the pelvis and down to the legs. Therefore, the normal blood circulation is being disrupted and blocked easily which leads to the retaining of fluids in the foot area.Generally, the swollen feet becomes purple in color and will probably increase in size several times due to the release of the relaxin hormone.
This causes the ligaments of the feet to become more flexible which results in longer and wider foot.
Thus, it is common for pregnant woman to see their foot increasing up to half or even full size in footwear.Prevention Tips For Edema Drink lots of water. Though it appears illogical but it actually helps to flush out the excess sodium or fluids in your body, thereby reducing swelling.Try to rest your feet more often and keep them elevated.
And do not cross your legs as by doing that, you are “lending a helping hand” to block the blood circulation further.Avoid standing, sitting or walking for long periods of time as it can aggravates foot pain on top of swelling. Warm humidity can cause more swelling to the feet and ankles.Avoid wearing tight stockings, socks, pants or shorts to help your blood and fluid flow more freely.
Forget about those sexy clothing of yours for the time being and opt for loose-fitting maternity clothing.Opt for high-waist maternity or compression stocking that helps to improve blood flow in your legs.


Not only it helps reduce swelling but promotes general well-being of the body.One thing to take note is if there is swelling in your face and hands with frequent headaches or blurred vision, this could be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
Though edema is usually harmless and the swelling will disappear after delivery, it can be uncomfortable and painful, affecting your mobility during pregnancy.Leg Cramps Leg cramps or charley horses is the one of the most common causes of leg and foot pain during pregnancy.
Almost half of all pregnant mothers may suffer muscles contractions in the calf muscles during their 2nd and 3rd trimester.
Make sure you stretch your calves before exercising.Prevent muscle tightness by taking a warm bath or applying a heat pad. Otherwise, strain on the lower back because of the extra weight and the pelvis being pushed forward may also contribute to leg spasms. Besides, leg cramps can also occurs when the extra pressure of the growing baby acts on the nerves and blood vessels.Varicose Veins Varicose veins refer to those ugly, dark blue or purple swollen veins which stick out above the skin surface during pregnancy.
This is due to the increased blood volume that forces through and stretches the veins to the extent that the valves are not able to function properly.Prevention Tips For Varicose Veins Avoid standing or sitting for too long. If standing is required due to job commitment, try to shift and alternate your weight between your legs every 8 – 10 minutes. Usually, common complaints of varicose veins include aching leg pain after long periods of sitting or standing as well as cramping and swelling. Others may experience feeling of heaviness or fatigue in their legs.Pregnancy and mother-to-be is an unforgettable and precious life experience. By understanding the causes of leg and foot pain during pregnancy as well as adopting the prevention tips, it helps you to go through these memorable 9 months comfortably and confidently.The above information is meant for your general reference only and is not intended to replace any professional medical advice from your doctor or midwife. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship.
I just want to add my vote for drinking water to flush out the system not to mention all the other benefits drinking plenty of water will give you and your foetus while pregnant. Often we overlook water as a great cure for what ails us, reaching for the medicine cabinet instead which is not always the best idea, especially while carrying.However, your suggestion to use a bottle of frozen water bottle twice a day to roll under the arches to relive pain is a great one that I never even thought of.



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