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Pregnant or not, everyone knows what and how painful cramps in the calves are. Are you lying comfortably in bed, and then: BOOM, cramp. And yes, during pregnancy women can suffer (even) more cramp calves. The cause is unknown, but with our tips you can get rid of cramp in your calves quickly. Curious? Read on quickly. 

What are cramp calves?

It is exactly what the word says: cramp in the calves. Cramp calf can be caused by not drinking enough water, by certain medications or intensive exercise. They are more common in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, but it is not yet known why pregnant women suffer more from calf cramps. However, we can give you tips to reduce the risk of calf cramps. (Nutricia for You, 2021). 

Cramp calf remedy 

Calf cramps disappear on their own after pregnancy, but you don't need to walk around in pain in the meantime. So stretch those muscles! Try the following things. 

  • Move your feet | lift your legs off the ground and spin around with your feet. You can do this while watching TV or reading a book, for example.  
  • Stretching exercises | do this just before going to bed, so you reduce the chance of waking up suddenly in the night with pain.
  • Take a (foot)bath | The warmth of a bath relaxes your muscles. With a foot bath, it is important to alternate hot and cold water. 
  • Get moving | take a walk, for example. 
  • Watch for crossed legs or standing too long. 
  • Legs up and relax.
  • Drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters of water or herbal tea per day. 
  • Try a different sleeping position. 
  • While sleeping, place a pillow under your feet and calves.

(The Online Midwife, 2021)

Does it happen anyway? This is how you get rid of it so quickly: 

It may just be that the cramp finds its way to your calf after all. This is how you get rid of it quickly:

  • Stretch your leg and pull only your toes up toward your head. 
  • Get out of bed and do some stretching exercises until the pain subsides. Then massage the area for another 5 to 10 minutes. 
  • Place a hot water bottle on your calves and take a short walk to activate blood flow. 

Have you tried everything and still have calf cramps? Then consult with your midwife. In some cases, support stockings can provide relief. Do you have symptoms such as fatigue, palpitations and dizziness in addition to the cramps? Then ask your midwife if you can get an extra examination for anemia. These symptoms combined with calf cramps may mean anemia in pregnancy (The Online Obstetrician, 2021).

Sources:

The Online Midwife. (2021, May 11). Calf Cramps ". Online Obstetrician. https://www.onlineverloskundige.nl/zwanger/kwaaltjes/kuitkrampen/

Nutricia for you. (2021, May 6). 10 tips for cramping your calves. https://www.nutriciavoorjou.nl/zwangerschap/symptomen/kramp-in-kuiten/

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