Cramps are muscle contractions which are uncomfortable but common during pregnancy. These are normally felt in the legs or feet and generally occur at night. This may be due to the various changes in the body, high level of hormones and lack of circulation.
To help reduce cramps, keep active during your pregnancy by walking swimming or doing exercises such as Pilates and Yoga. If spending long periods of time sitting or standing during the day move around every so often to increase circulation in the legs.
Exercises to do during the day are standing tall, feet apart (use a wall or chair or support) raising and lowering your heels to the floor.
Sitting or standing (again use a wall or chair for support) rotate your feet in circular motions in one direction and then the other.
To stretch the calf stand feet together with both hands against a wall, step one foot behind you so that the back leg is straight toes in line with the heel, bend the front knee. Repeat with the other leg.
These foot exercises and calf stretches during the day and before bed followed by a warm bath may help you have a restful sleep. When the cramp actually occurs if you are unable to stretch in a standing position extend your leg and flex your foot, toes towards your nose until the cramp eases.
If you are concerned it is best to seek medical advice from your midwife or GP.
For details on the next set of Pregnancy Pilates classes classes get in touch.