How to Relieve Pregnancy Cramps
Are pregnancy pains striking again? Good thing you found this post. There are numerous symptoms that pregnant women experience, including morning sickness, constipation, cravings, and of course, pregnancy cramps. For most women, pregnancy cramps are normal with no need for concern — it’s your body naturally trying to adjust and balance all of the changes your body is undergoing. However, the fact that it’s normal doesn’t make it any less painful or annoying. We understand what you’re going through, and we want to alleviate some of that stress off of you by providing you with these helpful tips.
Talk to Your Doctor
First, you should consult your doctor about any pregnancy cramps you may be experiencing for the first time or if they’ve worsened. Although rare, severe abdominal cramps could indicate an ectopic pregnancy, placenta eruption, miscarriage, or other serious conditions. In most cases, however, cramps needn’t cause you to worry. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your and your baby’s health. Your doctor will help identify the cause and give you the knowledge and confidence to move forward with the pregnancy. In addition, your doctor will be able to tell you whether or not it’s safe to take certain over-the-counter medications like Tylenol while pregnant.
Just like with menstrual cramps, it’s highly recommended to drink at least eight cups of water a day to relieve pregnancy cramps. When you’re dehydrated, your body is more likely to cramp and be in pain. If drinking water throughout the day is difficult, you can also incorporate more water-rich foods into your diet. Such foods include watermelon, spinach, cauliflower, carrots, and many others. Not only do you get some of your water by consuming these vegetables and fruits, but you also get additional nutrients as well.
When you’re lying or sitting down, you can relieve some of the pain by simply repositioning yourself. Don’t apply any pressure on the source of pain, or the cramps may last longer or increase. Lying down helps increase blood flow and round ligament pain. It can also help to wear a belly band to relieve any additional ligament pain that may have occurred. When laying down, try to elevate your legs when possible. By placing one or two pillows under your legs, you relieve tension off your lower back. In addition, it decreases the lactic acid that causes your muscles to cramp by circulating your blood flow and heart rate.
Sleep is Key
Sleep is the healer of many things — including cramps. A lack of sleep causes fatigue which may result in cramps the next day. If cramps occur during the middle of the night and are hindering your sleep, try to take more naps during the day. Your body needs the strength and energy to get through the night and day, so sleep is an essential part of the health and comfort of your pregnancy.
A gentle massage is never a bad idea. All that pressure and lactic acid build-up can be alleviated and released through a massage. Massage increases blood flow, which in turn results in the relaxation of muscles. For leg massages, you want to gently knead the front and back of your upper and lower legs for about fifteen minutes, targeting each muscle group for at least five minutes. For a smooth process, use oil or lotion to allow the hands to glide smoothly across the muscles. You can get a loved one to perform the massage, or some spas also offer pregnancy-friendly massages.
Sometimes an increase in cramps can be due to a lack of magnesium or other vitamins in the body, so it’s best to consult your doctor about what deficiencies you may have before taking any self-prescribed actions. Many women tend to cramp more when they have a lack of magnesium. If pills are not a comfortable option for you, there is plenty of magnesium found in bananas, spinach, walnuts, and even dark chocolate. (So, a late-night chocolate snack might be a good thing!)
Having cramps can be scary for many women, but at Unity Maternal Fetal Medicine, we are here to provide you with the care and attention you need. We don’t just tell you what’s going on in your body; we tell you how it happened and what your options are. If you are experiencing cramps and are worried it could lead to greater risk, schedule an appointment at UnityMFM.com. You can never be too prepared or too careful when it comes to your baby’s health and safety.