Cramps are a common phenomenon in women during pregnancy. Cramps often occur in the legs, thighs, feet, hands or abdominal muscles due to sudden spasms, making these parts of pregnant women very painful and unable to move.
Cramping can start to cause discomfort from the third month of pregnancy and the pain becomes more and more frequent as the fetus grows. This condition occurs during the day and worsens at night, greatly affecting the sleep of the pregnant woman, but does not leave any consequences for the mother and will go away by the end of pregnancy.
However, if a woman has cramps accompanied by symptoms such as bleeding, severe pain in the abdomen or on the top of the shoulder, hyperthermia or severe pain in the affected area, it is necessary to seek medical attention promptly. Investigate and treat promptly.
Feelings of cramp:
Mild cramps during pregnancy will feel like pain during menstruation, when the uterus contracts to create a twitching, heavy feeling in the pelvis. Cramps can also be caused by standing still for too long. When you sneeze, cough, or laugh, the sudden increase in pressure in your abdomen can cause cramps. Some sensations when cramps are heavy, uncomfortable, throbbing …
Doctors often rely on early cramps during pregnancy as a sign of an increase in the size of the uterus. Although fetal development in the first trimester is relatively slow, the hormonal and blood changes in the mother’s pelvis are enormous.
These changes take place in preparation for the following months. The uterus is a relatively small organ made up of elastic muscle fibers. When the uterus increases in size, it always causes discomfort for pregnant women including cramps. Knowing the cause and understanding of this phenomenon will help with care for both the mother and the fetus.
Why pregnant women have cramps?
Pregnant women often have calf cramps, but also appear in the hips and knees but less often and will last for a few minutes before resolving.
There are many reasons why pregnant women get cramps, such as:
- The bigger the fetus is, the more weight she puts on her mother’s legs. Over time, it can make blood circulation difficult and cause cramping.
- The uterus expands over time, causing tension in the ligaments and muscles that cause pain, difficulty moving, and cramping.
- Sometimes, the uterus grows but does not match the pelvis, inserted into nerves, blood vessels causing this phenomenon.
- During pregnancy, pregnant women do not get enough nutrition, which leads to lack of nutrients, vitamin, water deficiency, from which electrolyte disorders and cause cramps during pregnancy.
- Also the reason of malnutrition, when the fetus needs calcium to develop the skeletal system but the mother does not provide enough, the pregnant mother will be calcium deficient and very prone to cramps.
In addition to the common causes above, it is also possible for pregnant women to have cramps when suffering from other conditions such as appendicitis, kidney stones, bladder infection, pancreatitis, constipation, indigestion … When you get sick, it will be more serious, to determine if you need to be examined at health facilities.
When does the cramp stop?
Until the uterus grows in size and is supported by the bones in the pelvis, the cramping will subside. At this time, the ligaments and muscles are somewhat freed from the task of supporting the uterus.
How to reduce the risk of cramps during pregnancy?
- Change standing, sitting and lying down frequently. Light exercise by walking or stretching your muscles every day.
- Take a warm bath, wear comfortable, loose clothing, and gently massage the abdomen.
- You should urinate regularly to avoid the full bladder causing uterine contractions.
- Drink plenty of water, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to avoid constipation. Do not eat a lot of bread, rice and pasta.
- Sit or lie down and do deep breathing exercises.
- When sitting, make sure your feet have a support so that blood can easily circulate.
Note: whenever you feel cramping during early pregnancy, go to experienced medical centers immediately so that you can be thoroughly examined.