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Leg cramps at night - anyone got any good tips for stopping them?

(18 Posts)
Gizboss Sat 19-Sep-09 09:49:58

Hi there,
I'm 32 weeks and I've been suffering from these hideous leg cramps every night. Last night both legs went - they literally make me scream and my poor DH has to jump up and massage them for me as I can't reach. The trouble is that they go on for about 5 minutes or more and then the whole of the next day I am in pain from them. Couldn't go back to sleep this morning as they were so sore and a bath and home massage hasn't helped. Have any of you found anything that works? - I've tried eating bananas for the potassium and that doesn't seem to make any difference.
Any tips gratefully received.

puffylovett Sat 19-Sep-09 09:52:39

Take some magnesium, it's brilliant for cramps - they're commonly a sign of deficiency.

Totally safe in pregnancy btw, magnesium is one of the recommended treatments for pre eclampsia if it develops. is good for blood pressure and circulation as a whole.

3littlefrogs Sat 19-Sep-09 09:56:02

Also try tonic water. The quinine can help.

PeppermintCream Sat 19-Sep-09 09:57:03

Have a banana before bed, I think it is the potassium that helps, and a DP who is willing to give your calf muscles a good massage.

Cies Sat 19-Sep-09 09:57:58

I feel for you - they are horrible aren't they.

I know it's not your case but I found mine came on when I did my big morning stretch, so I've stopped stretching like that.

I've also heard that cramps can be a sign of dehydration, so maybe try drinking more water?

Gizboss Sat 19-Sep-09 10:10:02

Thank you for all of those tips - I think I'll try them all at once tonight and hopefully something will work!

masonicpixiesreadthedailymail Sat 19-Sep-09 10:15:32

ooh I feel yr pain. Well I don't anymore but this has reminded me of the excrutiating spasms of cramp I had when pg

screaming 'saw off my legs' in the middle of the night DH getting all panicky and bolting out of bed thinking I was in labour then being v unsympathetic when I said cramp

My mom swore by stretching / putting bare foot on a cold surface but I struggled with that. Leg too bloody painful to even move

Did try drinking tonic water

CarmenSanDiego Sat 19-Sep-09 10:17:17

I found a banana and a glass of milk at bedtime helped. When it kicked in, I forced myself to stamp my foot down on the bed. Agony for a split-second but instant relief.

It's horrible, isn't it? I didn't have it so bad with my last pregnancy - maybe I drank more water.

NorkilyChallenged Sat 19-Sep-09 10:17:23

Definitely make sure you drink plenty.

My mw recommended a glass of tonic water before bed and I didn't get the cramps as much after I started that. She felt it necessary to remind me not to put any gin in it wink

Also, instead of stretching by pointing my feet ballet-style, I found it better to start stretching by pointing my feet up towards the front of my leg (if that makes sense), which stretches but doesn't trigger the cramps.

I feel for you though. I remember feeling like I'd been shot in the leg and I would terrify DP who would leap from bed to assist me!

Snowfalls108 Sat 19-Sep-09 11:42:36

Would agree on the magnesium - I've been taking a supplement of it each day and the cramps have stopped.
Before that I was having a banana and properly stretching before bed each night.

It is the most painful thing isn't it.

Gizboss Sat 19-Sep-09 12:36:09

Thanks all - just a quick follow up question though - if my pregnacare have magnesium in them is it ok to take an extra supplement?

Stretch your calves before going to bed at night.

puffylovett Sat 19-Sep-09 16:58:33

its fine to take extra magnesium, there won't be a huge amount in pregnacare. I would get a magnesium citrate supplement if you can, although mag oxide would be fine.

Actually you could get a combined calcium / magnesium supplement, I seem to recall that there isn't any calcium in pregnacare (I may be wrong ? check the pack) and at this stage of pregnancy it's when the baby needs it the most.

raindroprhyme Sat 19-Sep-09 17:39:00

my gran swore by potatoes in the bed. grin

raggie Sat 19-Sep-09 17:58:19

Been having these increasingly too -am 30 weeks on Monday. My DH gets them often too (?!) and his advice is to 'relax' - not easy when you're in AGONY! But it DOES work if you can kind of breathe your way through it...I've been thinking maybe it'll prepare for labour pains hmm

Going to try the milk before bed tonight then ask my mw who I'm seeing on Monday perhaps she'll have some more ideas I can share with you all <fingers crossed emoticon>

MrsMc82 Sat 19-Sep-09 20:16:15

I've had leg cramp once so far (am 22wks) and its awful feel so sorry for you having it every night... I screamed so much when i got it i think the neighbours must have thought i was being murdered. have been paranoid of getting it again so been stretching loads before going to bed and also not pointing my toes to stretch in bed but pointing feet toward my calves like one of the other ladies has said... Not had it again since doing this but know there's plenty of time yet! ;)
On the bright side my mum said she reckons the pain of bad leg cramps is worse than labour pain but think she might just be being nice (or forgotten how bad labour is seeing as it WAS 27yrs ago for her!)

Gizboss Sun 20-Sep-09 11:06:31

Thought I would give you an update. I had tonic water and a magnesium tablet last night and no leg cramps! Thank you so much to everyone for advice, I feel so much better. Going to keep this up until baby's born and hopefully it will continue to work. x

meg17 Sun 20-Sep-09 11:37:03

Another vote for the magnesium supplements. I have not had a single leg cramp since I started taking them (but before I did the cramps were horrible!)

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