Pregnancy – something that every woman looks forward to but fears as well. Being pregnant is a whole new experience for a lady. It brings along its own set of unforeseen worries and joys. One of those unpredictable fears is cramping.
Cramping can be a real nightmare for the majority of pregnant ladies. It can give you hard, sleepless nights while disrupting your day-to-day activities. The magnitude of the pain varies from woman to woman; almost everyone has experienced cramps at least once during pregnancy. Yeah, you are not the only one! It is that common.
While there is nothing that you can do to skip this pain altogether (exceptions exist), there are a few tips and tricks which if implemented, can help you catch some quick relief. Here are a few –
1. Perform some of the other physical activity
A lot of women tend to skip physical activity during pregnancy citing that it is too demanding on their body. On the contrary, the fact is that women who perform some of the other physical activity during pregnancy have a lesser chance of suffering from cramps or any different sort of physical pain.
Exercise and continuous physical activity keep the back healthy and relieve the expecting mother of the back pain during pregnancy. In case you have been experiencing constant cramping, you must consider contacting your physician regarding physical activities. A professional physiotherapist would be of even greater help here as they can demonstrate some good stretches and exercises.
2. A nice massage may help
Getting a gentle massage is an excellent way to deal with cramps during pregnancy. Expecting mothers can request their partners to rub their back or any other spot that pains badly. Not only will it improve the circulation of blood, but also relax the muscles beyond your imagination.
In many cases, it has been observed that massage helps the mother’s body release a lot of pain-blocking chemicals namely endorphins. Furthermore, this makes the mother get her mind off the pain and boosts the feeling of intimacy.
Apart from a gentle massage, the expecting mothers must also give a shot to stuff like pressing firmly on their lower back or working their knuckles up and down the sides of the spine. However, an important point to note here is that the mother must be comfortable doing it and the body must not feel strained.
3. Give a shot at stretching
Stretching is yet another fantastic idea to relax a cramping body. Stretching helps in relaxing cramped muscles and prevents any new cramps. Consult your physiotherapist and get some good stretching practices recommended.
Your physiotherapist can help you identify the muscle groups that cramp most often. In case you are prone to nighttime cramps, you should consider performing some light stretches before hitting the bed. Possibly, try stretching your hamstrings and quadriceps, along with the calves as these are most likely to cramp at night.
4. A balanced diet is a must
To the utter surprise of a lot of expecting mothers, a balanced diet full of nutrients and minerals can help get relief from cramps. Staying hydrated is the key here.
A dehydrated body is more prone to cramps and pain. Expecting mothers must make sure that they have a minimum of eight cups of water daily. In addition to that, having magnesium supplements can help keep leg cramps at bay.
Consult your doctor before adding anything new to your diet though as it may or may not get along well with your metabolism. You may also give a shot to some magnesium-rich foods, like whole grains, beans, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds, in case you are not extra comfortable with supplements.
5. Catch proper sleep every night
Sleeping is our body’s way of healing. Catching up on sleep makes sure that the body stays relaxed and is in a state of working. A lot of expecting mothers complain about insomnia during pregnancy.
Sleeping aids like body pillows for pregnancy support or other body size pillows can be beneficial. A sleep-deprived expecting mother has higher odds of going through cramps as compared to the one who has had proper sleep. Thus, make sure that you set your body clock accordingly and hit the bed at almost the same time daily.
6. Proper footwear
Pregnancy exerts a lot of pressure on the female body. The body asks for comfort and cannot handle any added stress like that of tight body-hugging clothes or uncomfortable footwear. The expecting mothers should preferably stick to shoes that offer a high level of comfort and support.
Fancy high heels or anything else of that sort that may not be entirely comfortable should be avoided. Flats and shoes with a firm flat soul are good options. Also, you should see to it that whatever you choose to wear must make a firm grip on the ground and should not be slippery at all.
7. Hot and cold therapy
Alternating hot and cold therapy has also been found beneficial for cramps in some cases. It relaxes the muscles and numbs the hurting area for some time, thus helping you have a sigh of relief. You must consult your doctor though, before using a heating pad, as it may or may not be suitable in some cases.
Thus, these were some of the general tips and tricks to avoid cramping during pregnancy. Cramps during pregnancy, although painful and worrisome, are quite common. Except for a few cases, there is nothing to worry about even if you have terrible ones.
You need to be a bit extra careful with your eating habits and lifestyle so that the discomfort reduces and does not bring your day-to-day life to a halt. Sleeping aids like a body pillow for pregnancy can be quite useful here. Also, make sure that you do not pop in any sleeping or painkiller pills without consulting your doctor.
A light physiotherapy session can fetch amazing results rather than medicines. Being stressed all the time is not suitable for the baby as well as the mother. Hence, make sure you share your worries and fears with your partner and doctor, and make this period one of the most cherishable memories of your lifetime.