How to relieve cramp in your feet when pregnant
Foot cramp during pregnancy can occur as a result of tight muscles in your legs or back. Check out these tips for what you can do to avoid it or ease your discomfort
What causes cramp in pregnancy?
Cramp in the calf muscles or the arches of the feet during pregnancy is partly a result of tight muscles in your legs or back, caused by the extra weight of your baby bump, postural changes and/or being seated for too long if you have a desk job. All those muscles are connected, so tension in your back can cause tension in your legs, which in turn can pull the tendons in your feet and cause stiffness and pain.
Safe exercise in pregnancy to keep yourself as limber as possible can help. Dehydration can also be one of the most common contributing factors in cramp so make sure you keep up your daily fluid intake of six to eight (200ml) glasses per day. Liquid includes water, juice, hot drinks etc but try to make water your main go-to, and keep a bottle of water by your bed so you don’t wake up thirsty and prone to morning cramps.
Easing pregnancy cramp
As you get bigger, it’s no fun having to suddenly jump up from your chair or your bed to stretch your legs and relieve cramp spasms.
While you might usually try to release the spasm by sitting on a bed or the floor, leaning forward and pulling up your toes at the end of the affected leg (holding the position for a few moments). But now you’re pregnant, this might feel uncomfortable or simply be too awkward over your bump, so instead, lean forward against a wall, standing up, raising your foot so it’s on tip toe and then press the toes down, holding the position for a few moments, doing the same stretch but without you having to lean forward.
Exercising to avoid or relieve pregnancy foot cramp
Our resident expert and Bump & Beyond exercise guru Vicky Warr suggests the following exercise which will loosen up the feet and improving circulation.
- Use a tennis ball or a trigger point massage ball.
- Position the ball under the arch of your bare foot and roll it around in all directions.
- This will help stretch the muscles in your foot and promote blood flow.
- Also, when seated, try rolling the ball under your calves and backs of your upper legs (hamstrings) to release stiffness.
NB As with any physical discomfort, if you continue to get cramps or they worsen and simple stretches to not seem to help, do seek advice from your GP.