Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

How Can I Relieve My Pregnancy Leg Cramps?

Now that I'm in my third trimester, I keep getting these painful cramps in my calves. Sometimes they even wake me up at night. What can I do to make them stop?
Emelia

You're not alone — many pregnant women get these lower leg cramps, often in the middle of the night in their second and third trimesters.

Experts aren't sure what causes "charley horses" (the nonclinical name for painful cramps in your calf muscles). Although they can be extremely painful, charley horses are — luckily! — usually brief.

What might help:

  • Do calf stretches before bed to prevent the cramping. But make sure not to point your toes while stretching.
  • Straighten your leg and flex your foot when you get a cramp. A gentle massage of the calf may help relax the muscle.
  • Make sure you are drinking enough fluids during the day.
  • If cleared by your doctor, get regular exercise, which can help reduce cramps.

Talk to your doctor to see if extra calcium or magnesium could help you. But don’t take supplements without checking with the doctor first.

If the leg pain doesn't ease; is severe; or is accompanied by swelling, warmth, or redness in the leg or trouble walking, talk with your doctor right away.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date Reviewed: 01-01-2021

Lea este articulo en Español

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.