cramps during early pregnancy

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Cramps during early pregnancy

Cramps during early pregnancy
Cramps during early pregnancy

leg cramps during early pregnancy  in the lower leg muscles are fairly common in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. They most frequently occur at night, and they may disrupt your sleep. Although the exact cause of leg cramps is unknown, slow blood return associated with the pressure of the baby on your leg veins may be responsible.

Sudden spasms of pains in the legs and feet. It’s not clear why they can crop up during pregnancy, but theories include muscle fatigue (other muscles in the body are working so hard to support you and the growing baby, and something has to give); a deficiency of minerals such as magnesium and potassium; and pressure on the nerves caused by the growing uterus.

Cramps during early pregnancy
Cramps during early pregnancy

Tips To Prevent cramps during early pregnancy 

Here are some tips for relieving the discomfort of leg cramps during early pregnancy or calf tenderness:

  • Try exercises to stretch your calf muscles, particularly before bed.

    cramps during early pregnancy
    cramps during early pregnancy :Walk.
  • Stretch the affected muscle. Try straightening your knee and gently flexing your foot upward (see STRETCHING ROUTINE FOR PREGNANT)
  • Walk. You may find it uncomfortable at first, but walking helps relieve the cramping.
  • Wear support hose, especially if you stand a lot during the day.
  • Take frequent breaks if you sit or stand for long periods.
  • Massage your calves. Gently rubbing the muscle can help.
  • Try resting with your legs up on pillows or the arm of a sofa.
  • Wear shoes with low heels.
  • Try not to cross your legs when sitting or standing; keep your legs and ankles moving by stretching and wiggling your calves and feet whenever you get a chance.

    cramps during early pregnancy
    cramps during early pregnancy: Stretch the affected muscle.
  • If you do get an attack, stretch out the leg and rotate your ankle, or try walking round the room.
  • Eating a balanced diet may help boost any minerals you’re missing – but check with your midwife or GP before taking any type of supplement (see PREGNANCY MEAL PLAN).

When to seek medical help cramps during early pregnancy 

If leg cramps persist, talk to your care provider. They might be caused by a circulation problem. Contact your care provider right away if you notice redness, swelling, an increase in pain or if you have a history of a blood clots or a blood-clotting disorder.

Could it be serious?

No, just annoying. They’ll only come in short, temporary bursts and won’t last beyond pregnancy. If you’ve got severe, persistent leg pain and/or you’re suffering from other symptoms such as swelling of the leg, contact your GP as this could be a sign of a deep vein thrombosis.

Medical factfile: thrombosis

cramps during early pregnancy
cramps during early pregnancy

Around one or two in 1,000 women will get a blood clot in the vein during pregnancy or just after birth, when the risk is about five times higher than normal because of changes in the way the blood clots and flows. (And some people are more at risk of blood clots in general because of a genetic tendency, so you should always let your midwife or doctor know early on, if it’s something that runs in your family.)

The most common sort, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), is when a blood clot occurs in a deep vein, usually in the leg. Symptoms include pain, tenderness and swelling in the leg, which may turn pale blue or reddish-purple in colour. If you notice any of these, do alert your midwife or doctor immediately.

Treatment is a medication called heparin. You could also be asked to wear compression stockings to improve blood flow and reduce swelling. It’s vital to get prompt treatment for DVT, as it can lead to a dangerous complication called a pulmonary embolism, which can prove fatal.

Recipe to prevent cramps during early pregnancy 

Oh! Susannah Chocolate Maltshake

Prep: 5 minutes
Makes 2 8-ounce shakes (but you might want it all for yourself)

Baby Bonus: Nearly 30 percent of calcium and 50 percent of vitamin A daily requirements.
Momma Must-Have: It’s got a ton of potassium to help relieve middle-of-the-night leg cramps during early pregnancy . It’s great for those times when you’re trying to pack in more calcium, but just can’t stomach another glass of milk.

1 cup low-fat double-churned vanilla ice cream

1 tablespoon malted milk powder (such as Carnation)
1 tablespoon dark chocolate syrup (try to find one fortified with extra calcium)
1 cup 1% organic or soy milk

  1.  Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass, with ice if you like, and serve with a fun straw.

Calories 240; Fat 9 g (Sat 3 g, Mono 0.5 g, Poly 2 g); Cholesterol 15 mg; Protein 5 g; Carbohydrate 36 g; Sugars 15 g; Fiber 3 g; Iron 1 mg; Sodium 246 mg; Calcium 32 mg

Cramps during early pregnancy
Cramps during early pregnancy 

Koto Kapama (Cinnamon-Stewed Chicken)

Note: Ask your butcher to cut the chicken into pieces for you. Post-pregnancy, try adding ½ cup dry white wine to the pan after you’ve sautéed the onions.

Prep:10 minutes
Cook: 72 minutes
Makes 6 servings

Baby Bonus: One serving nearly knocks out your protein needs for the day and helps Junior grow strong. And 10 percent of your iron requirement helps ensure a strong blood supply.
Momma Must-Have: Since this recipe satisfies almost 20 percent of your zinc needs, it’ll keep your immune system humming, and you also get tons of potassium to help prevent muscle cramps during early pregnancy.

1 chicken (2½ to 3 pounds), cut into eight pieces
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced and divided
2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
1 cup water
1 cup chicken stock
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

  1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Mix the cinnamon, kosher salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mix all over the chicken pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over high heat (a 12- inch skillet with sides about 2½ to 3 inches high will allow you to brown all the chicken at once). Add the chicken to the oil, and brown for about four to five minutes on each side, until well browned all over. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  3. Lower the heat to medium-high, and add the onions and 3 minced cloves of garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the onions have softened and are a rich golden brown.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan, and add the water, chicken stock, tomato paste, oregano, and remaining garlic cloves. The liquid should cover the chicken about three-quarters of the way. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for about 1 hour, until the chicken is tender and thoroughly cooked. Season the finished sauce with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Serve over a bed of quinoa or another favorite grain.

Calories 334; Fat 7 g (Sat 1 g, Mono 3 g, Poly 1 g); Cholesterol 132 mg; Protein 55 g; Carbohydrate 12 g; Sugars 6 g; Fiber 3 g; Iron 3 mg; Sodium 789 mg; Calcium 64 mg; Folate 23 mcg; Beta-Carotene 266 mcg; Potassium 959 mg; Zinc 2 mg

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