Your second trimester is one of the best phases of your entire pregnancy. By this time, problems like morning sickness, nausea and fatigue that you were experiencing for the last three months should fade away.
Your energy levels would be going up again and you can look at performing other tasks and setting a routine. The second trimester starts from week 13 to 28 of the pregnancy or is the fourth, fifth and sixth month.
During this stage of pregnancy, you will also be able see your “baby bump” and feel your baby moving inside you for the first time. In the second trimester, your baby is actually growing quickly and there are big changes that are taking place inside your body.
Among all the other discomforts, muscle cramps make things extremely uncomfortable in this stage of pregnancy.
Muscle Cramps In Lower Abdomen
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It’s common to notice muscle cramps in your lower abdomen in the second trimester. They occur as your uterus expands during pregnancy and starts putting pressure on nearby muscles and ligaments.
Additionally, the round ligament muscle often cramp as they get stretched. Cramps can sometimes feel like a dull ache in your lower abdomen but you may also feel sharp stabs of pain.
If you are constipated or feeling gassy, you might experience minor cramps. You may also feel pain after sex, which is normal.
In order to get relief from the muscle cramps, try taking a warm bath, perform relaxation exercises, or press a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel to your lower belly.
Muscle Spasms Or Charley Horse In Calves
Muscle spasms are sometimes referred to as Charley horse and are one of the most common discomforts experienced by about half of all expecting mums.
While you can experience them anywhere, they are most commonly felt in the calves. Interestingly, most women also experience these mostly at night.
Causes of muscle cramps
If you experience this discomfort during pregnancy, then it can be due to one of these reasons.
- Nerve compression
- Change in blood flow
- Overuse of the muscles due to carrying the extra weight from pregnancy
However, if the cramps or spasms are followed by intense pain, it is best to consult with a doctor to check for any underlying health issues.
7 Ways To Prevent Muscle Cramps During Pregnancy
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Since spasms and cramps are temporary in most cases, you can find relief from them by trying a few techniques.
- A well-balanced meal that has all the nutrients and minerals that your body needs during pregnancy is crucial to prevent cramps. Specifically, consuming foods that are rich in potassium like kiwi, potassium, banana, are a great way to get the right nutrients in your body.
- Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water and consume lots of fresh fluids to stay hydrated.
- Always stretch your muscles properly before any kind of exercise or strain.
- Make sure to take a prenatal vitamin that contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium. However, be mindful of the doses and always consult your doctor before you begin.
- Make sure to engage in regular physical activity to keep your muscles supple and active.
- Choosing the right footwear that supports your arch and provides cushion to your sole is also important, especially during pregnancy as your show holds your body’s weight.
How To Get Relief From Muscle Spasms?
No matter how much you try, there is no escaping a muscle cramps. The good news, however, is that there’s no reason to worry if you experience minor cramps and the pain is bearable.
Here are some quick ways to get relief:
- Apply an ice-cold pack on the affected area to reduce pain.
- Try massaging the muscle or the nearby area and you can get some relief.
- Take a warm Epsom salt bath: Mix about 2 cups of Epsom salt into a warm bath and soak for about 12 to 15 minutes. See to it that the water temperature is comfortably hot and not scalding. Do note that raising your body temperature too high by soaking in a hot tub is dangerous for your baby.
As your body prepares for the arrival of your little one, it is bound to experience changes and muscle cramps and spasms are part of that change.
However, if your muscle cramps are frequent and do not respond to any of the above treatments, you must consult your gynaecologist at the earliest for proper diagnosis.
Source: American Pregnancy Association, WebMD
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