Post # 1
So last night at around 4:00am I woke up with the dreaded leg cramps I had only heard about from other people but had yet to experience myself. WOW. That. Was. Not. OK.
It took about 8 minutes to go away but not before I woke up my husband from my writhing in pain, weeping, and praying for it to stop. Longest 8 minutes of the past 6 months, that’s for sure. (I am at 24 weeks and change)
This little episode was enough to basically convince me that a) my pain tolerance threshold is extremely lower than I thought, and b) I will SO be getting an epidural when I go into labor. I can barely handle a leg cramp for pete’s sakes!!!
In the meantime, ladies, please PLEASE share any advice you have for avoiding these cramps and/or treating them in the event that it reoccurs. I am really anxious that it will happen again. Much thanks in advance!
Post # 3
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Bananas. Eat them. Lots.
I haven’t been getting leg cramps, but toe cramps. Unbelievable pain.
Post # 4
Ugh! I know how awful those are, I’ve been getting them for about 2 weeks now.I get them in my calves and for the not so bad ones, I just flex my foot (point toes up towards my head) and that helps them go away, but the really bad ones I just get out of bed and try to stand and put foot flat on the floor, which is challenging sometimes as the cramp just wants to make my foot point, but once I’m able to get my foot flat on the ground it usually goes away. I’ve also read that doing some basic calf stretching before bed can help too, but I haven’t tried that.
Post # 5
They are awful. I find that if I freak out from the pain, I only tense up more. Make a concious effort of calm youself down and gently start moving your foot or try to stand up.
Post # 6
Ugh, I haven’t gotten any leg cramps since my pregnancy started, but I have gotten them at random intervals starting in my teens and they are TERRIBLE. Always happen in the middle of the night and it’s just like you describe – writhing around in pain, I can barely even breathe when I get them.
I don’t think it really says anything about whether or not you’ll need an epidural – leg cramps and labor are very different! (I hope so anyways, haha – but this is my first so I suppose I don’t know that for a fact).
If you’re in the middle of the cramp, try your best to move to a standing position, or just anything where you are putting weight on that leg. I know it’s hard to do in so much pain, but it really does help it stop sooner nearly all the time for me. I haven’t found anything to stop them from happening =(
Post # 7
Ugh, I was really sick a while back with some serious digestive issues that I won’t go in to, but I was sick for more than 6 months. My body was unable to absorb vitamins and minerals properly so I got leg cramps at LEAST every night, sometimes multiple times a night. Let me tell you, I *almost* considered suicide a few times lol.
PP above is right about the bananas, the cramps are usually caused my low potassium levels (which bananas contain).
And if your DH wakes up again when you have them, ask him to massage the your leg.. it might help release it.
Post # 8
Thanks ladies!!! I am going to get some bananas tomorrow when I go grocery shopping. Also, the idea about standing up is so interesting! I really didn’t even consider it in my panicked state last night but if this happens again I will try it!
Post # 9
I get those, too. I asked my NP if I could take a potassium supplement and she said that was fine, or that I could just take Tylenol. I never heard about the Tylenol, so I double checked in case she had misunderstood me. She confirmed that extra strength Tylenol would help, and drinking plenty of water.
I thought that was interesting, but I’m sticking to the potassium for now.
Post # 10
I second the getting up and trying to put your foot onto the floor. It seems to stop it sooner. My step-mom swears by eating a tablespoon of mustard to get them to stop. I’ve never tried that.
Post # 11
Like @KitKatNYC said, try not to struggle through them. Usually standing up will help them stop quickly.
Drink plenty of water and eat bananas!
Post # 12
Leg cramps are the worst! I seem to get them on and off and there doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to them with me. However, I did read that if you do some stretches before bed, it can help and it actually has helped me a bit. Here is one I got from livestrong.com:
“You can use a wall, bed or any other structure that can give you support. Putting your hands on the wall, stand with one leg in front of you with the knee bent and the other leg about shoulder-width behind it. Keep your back leg straight and make sure both of your heels are flat on the floor. Push on the wall and put some pressure on your front leg until you feel a pulling sensation in your back leg. You shouldn’t feel any pain while you do this stretch. Switch legs so that you have stretched out both calves.”
If you wake up with a leg cramp, try to flex your foot up toward your head as a previous poster recommended. That can help to stop the cramps sooner. And I totally agree about drinking water and eating bananas!