What causes cramps during pregnancy

Muscle cramps

Pregnancy | Treatment | complaints

Muscle cramps in the thighs, calves or feet are among the most common pregnancy symptoms. They prefer to perform at night. The painful cramps are so strong that you wake up from them. The acute pain can turn into a general, persistent pain lasting several hours, and then sometimes it is no longer possible to think about falling asleep. Leg cramps are favored if you walked around in high heels a lot during the day, but also if you have hot weather, varicose veins and anemia.


Very rarely, unilateral leg cramps can also be a symptom of phlebitis. Notice whether the leg is also swollen and reddened.

In pregnant women, the cause is usually a lack of certain nutrients, e.g. potassium, calcium or vitamin B. Most of all, nocturnal calf cramps are associated with a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is required in large quantities for many metabolic processes during pregnancy, but unfortunately it is also increasingly excreted through increased sweating and urine production. Sufficient intake through diet is practically impossible.

Because magnesium deficiency also seems to be responsible for problems such as premature labor, preeclampsia and growth retardation in the child and can also alleviate symptoms such as constipation and nausea, some experts now recommend taking magnesium tablets during the entire pregnancy. Overdosing is practically impossible with normal kidney function, and the side effect is at most slightly softer bowel movements - which many expectant mothers see as an advantage.

Preventing leg cramps

Quick help with calf cramps

Frequent question on the subject

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals during pregnancy. But even a balanced diet (mineral water fortified with magnesium, peeled almonds and lots of green vegetables) can often not provide enough magnesium. And a magnesium deficiency makes itself felt very quickly ...

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Last update: 04-05-16, BH