Leg cramps are painful spasms. They usually happen in your calf muscles or feet and can last up to 10 minutes. They are more likely to happen at night.
Causes of leg cramps during pregnancy
There is no specific cause of leg cramps.
They may happen for several reasons.
- changes to your blood and circulation
- tiredness in your leg muscles
What to do during a leg cramp
It may help to ease a cramp if you:
- gently pull your toes upwards - you will get a better stretch if your knee is straight
- rub the muscle hard
After the cramp has stopped, the muscle might feel sore for up to 24 hours.
Urgent advice: Ask for an urgent GP appointment or call your maternity hospital if:
- your leg is red and swollen
Preventing leg cramps
You cannot completely prevent leg cramps in pregnancy. But there are things you can do that might help.