“Pregnancy is a condition that every woman of reproductive age should experience, but it also has some effects both physiologically and psychologically. One of them is muscle contractions called "Pregnancy Cramps", which start especially in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, that is, after the 20th week, and can be very painful in some cases. said Gynecology Obstetrics and IVF Specialist Op. Dr. Onur Meray talked about what should be known about pregnancy cramps as follows; What Is Cramp? What You Must Know About Cramps! What Causes Pregnancy Cramps?
What Is Cramp?
Cramp is basically a tissue spasm. In the case of cramps, the tissue contracts, causing sudden and severe pain. A common type of cramp, which we all experience, occurs in the calf muscles during sleep. Overloading, excessive muscle fatigue, injury, straining the muscles or staying in the same position for a long time can cause muscle cramps.
What You Must Know About Cramps!
Most of us know very little about cramps. It is useful to know that methods such as stretching, hair pulling, needles, etc., that many people apply to the cramped area, are not scientific. Because a sharp object immersed in a tissue or pulling hair from that area can cause the locked muscle to contract well. In fact, what needs to be done is very simple: If the muscles we call the twisting muscles cramp, a slight strength can be applied to the opposite muscles. Thus, the locked muscles are separated from each other in a short time.
What Causes Pregnancy Cramps?
Calcium and magnesium deficiency is known to cause cramping during pregnancy. During pregnancy, as the baby in the womb, that is, the fetus, is a constantly growing organism, it needs more energy, along with vitamins and minerals. During the period when our expectant mother eats regularly, she meets the energy needs of the fetus, but some minerals need to be supplemented. Magnesium mineral is an important one of these and it needs to be supplemented because cramps begin to occur in its deficiency. Supplementation of this mineral begins after the 20th week, because pregnancy cramps also begin in these weeks on average. In addition, the pressure created by the growing uterus on the vein system in the circulatory system and the circulatory problems caused by it are also an important factor in the formation of cramps. Cramps are usually seen in the calves and thighs, and the frequency of being at night is higher, and they may even wake up at night. Muscle cramps in the arms, forearms, hands and feet can also be quite painful, although they are less common sites of cramps. Pregnant women with such complaints should start using magnesium without wasting time. If they report these complaints to the obstetrician they are following and if it is deemed appropriate with the week, they can get rid of these painful cramps by using magnesium-containing drugs. Apart from the use of magnesium-containing drugs, Calcium and Vitamin D are other vitamins and minerals that can be beneficial. Lastly, taking daily short walks at a light pace is beneficial for muscle cramps in our pregnant women.
Can Pregnancy Cramps Be Prevented?
Saying that factors such as sleep imbalance, weather change, stress, and fatigue are the biggest causes of cramps, Op. Dr. Onur Meray made the following recommendations for the prevention of pregnancy cramps; “If you are experiencing pregnancy cramps, to reduce the frequency and discomfort of these cramps;
- Take a warm shower before going to sleep
- If you have a history of varicose veins or complaints, use compression stockings.
- Avoid wearing high heels
- Be careful not to gain too much weight
- Put a booster under your feet while sitting
- Do not stand for long periods of time,” he said.