You may already be struggling to get a good nights rest with the ever growing belly and baby tap dancing around on your bladder at night. Leg cramps are the last thing you need! These nasties radiate up through the calves and up your legs and are deeply unpleasant way to wake up in the middle of the night. They are unfortunately a fairly common occurrence during pregnancy, usually kicking off in the middle of the second trimester.
So what causes them? There doesn't seem to be one conclusive answer. Theories include: 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. While getting off your feet at night seems like it would help, this is often when fluid retention and fatigue are at their worst, making the cramps that much more likely to strike.
If a cramp strikes straighten your leg and gently flex your ankle and toes back toward your shins several times. If this doesn't help try placing the sole of your foot on a cold surface. (tiled floor or a cold wall) If you can, get your partner to massage calf.
What you can do to help prevent them:
Anice Lombard, Massage Mama. Mama of 2 and Massage Therapist