It’s happened to pregnant women everywhere – you finally find a good sleep position after tossing and turning for what seems like hours. You start dozing off into a much-needed slumber… and then BAM – a monster from under the bed does a sneak attack on your leg and for the next 20-60 seconds you experience the worst pain of your life (next to contractions of course!). Ok, maybe the monster part of that story is far-reaching, but where then does that pain come from? The true culprit – CHARLEY HORSES! Or in other words, muscle spasms. They are the WORST but there are precautions you can take, some of which involve simple changes to your daily eating habits. Here are a few tips to avoid and prevent this extremely unpleasant pregnancy symptom from hitting you when you finally settle down for a good night’s sleep.
1. Hydrate – Drinking enough water is SO important at any time during pregnancy and may help to keep muscle spasms to a minimum. When in doubt, drink more water. That means at least 8 cups a day – and try to avoid soda pop and other drinks that can actually make you feel more dehydrated.
2. Minerals (Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium) – Many fruits and vegetables are rich sources of these important minerals. A shortage of these delicious foods, among others, may just be the tip of the iceberg leading to sleepless nights filled with pain. Here is a list of foods you should be sure to include in your diet! For potassium try incorporating bananas, apples, avocados, fish, yogurt, and dark leafy greens into your diet. For calcium try milk, yogurt, cheese, legumes, and leafy greens. Last but not least, to get enough magnesium, incorporate dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit, and dark chocolate.
3. Nerve Compression – Pregnancy is no stranger to nerve compression, especially when the baby continues to grow, shift positions, and weigh heavily on just the wrong spot! This is a condition that you should definitely talk to your OB/GYN about. Sometimes it is caused by too much exercise or can be exasperated by walking too long while your baby is sitting right on your nerves. Chances are the baby will move and things will change, but if it’s too much to handle some women find relief with prenatal massage and/or acupuncture.
Many of the conditions we experience during pregnancy can be resolved with proper or better nutrition. Mommi is a great way to get the calcium and minerals needed as well as the prenatal vitamins your body craves while creating life. Paying close attention to the food you consume will make things go smoothly along the way!
*A special thanks to Michelle Greensides who had a muscle cramp and reached out to us on Twitter to find out what to do, thereby inspiring this article.