I'm being woken up every other night or so with bloody painful cramps in my calf (usually one but sometimes the other). 24 weeks pregnant.
Apart from this being a really terrible way to wake up, involving lots of muttering hoping not to wake DH up, trying to breathe deeply while hopelessly tweaking leg in various directions all more painful than the last, desparately rationalising it as preparation for labour...and then not being able to get back to sleep... my calves have started to ache during the day. Which isn't good news as I walk a lot and am trying to keep active.
Leg cramps don't seem to be mentioned much in the pregnancy sympton lists, though a bit of googling does indicate a link. Anyone else dreading the 4am shooting pains... and better still... any tips?
Firstly, just to clarify that I'm not pregnant so possibly have no idea what I'm talking about. If so, please ignore me.
However, I've always gotten bad calf cramps while on my period, ever since I was a teenager. Normally first thing in the morning, when I stretch my feet down towards the end of the bed. Calf and ankle seem to lock, then cue the agony. If it doesn't go away sharpish, my leg then aches for the rest of the day.
Does that sound vaguely like the problem your experiencing? If so, the solution I've found is to immediately send the insistant signal down to my foot to lift my toes straight upwards, towards my knee.
It feels bad and wrong, I can never tell if my foot is actually moving and I'm sure it momentarily does make the pain worse.... But, I find if I keep pulling upwards (just using the muscles rather than actually grabbing the foot) then after a second or two the pressure will suddenly release.
Better yet, if it stops sharpish, I then don't have the achy leg for the rest of the day. I seem to have mastered the art, because I can fix it pretty rapidly every time now.
So...not sure whether that helps at all - I might just have weird leg muscles that have a glitch I'm exploiting! But that's my problem and solution, anyway. Hopefully it'll be useful to someone!
I had this really badly, the things I found that helped were:
pillow between knees when sleeping
keeping legs up a lot during day
support stockings (the full on industrial strength ones - not pretty!)
and most important of all, drinking tonic water before bed time. It has to be something like Schweppes with a high quinine content. I used to like making it up with ice and lemon, so that I could pretend I was having a G&T. My MW recommended it and it really did help.
I had this a lot in my last pregnancy. I ended up sleeping the wrong way on the bed - with my feet at the headboard end.
That way, when I woke up in agonising pain I could push my foot against the headboard, which seemed to minimise how long it lasted. You need to stretch your heel out, but it's hard to do if you don't have anything to push against.
This time, I'm going to try the milk before bed - prevention would definitely be better than cure in this case!
Oooh, thanks for all the suggestions and sympathy always welcome. I'm trying to specialise in some of the slightly more obscure pregnancy side effects but nice to know I'm not completely alone.
Am off to mix myself a cocktail of tonic water and milk with chunks of banana in the hope of a good nights sleep... and if all else fails to curl my toes upwards (thanks Spirael, that's exactly the kind of thing it is).