How To Prevent As Well As Relieve Them
What can I do to prevent leg cramps at night? I heard there are good exercises to try before bed. - Connie, Washington DC
The expert answers
Unfortunately, leg cramps are a very common side effect of pregnancy. That said, there are a couple of things you can do to prevent/relieve them.
First of all, make sure you are getting plenty of potassium in your diet - bananas are an excellent source. Also, drinking lots of water throughout the day to stay well-hydrated is very important.
If you do get those painful cramps, you can try flexing your feet (toes pointing up toward the ceiling) to stretch the calf muscles. "Drawing" the alphabet with your feet is another way to urge the muscles to stretch and relax. Another trick is to apply warm compresses to the cramping area and then to gently massage it with a tennis ball.
I hope these ideas help!