Leg Cramps and Pregnancy
Leg cramps can be associated with imbalances in electrolytes, causing involuntary muscle contractions that can be anywhere from mild to quite painful.
According to Dr. Rachel Adams, OB/GYN, Mercy Medical Center, the most common theory is that leg cramps may be caused by a buildup of metabolic byproducts in the muscle, like lactic acid.
"It's the same substance that accumulates when we do exercising that also causes cramping," Dr. Adams said. "Typically with leg cramps, they present in the latter half of pregnancy, in the second or third trimester, and they're more frequent at nighttime."
Dr. Adams noted that if the cramps are involuntary muscle contractions, magnesium supplementation has been shown to help, as have certain stretches. Sometimes, simply increasing water intake also helps.
To view Mercy OB/GYN Dr. Rachel Adams’ interview regarding leg cramps and pregnancy, click here.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.