faded image of a pregnant woman holding her leg

Leg cramps when pregnant

Leg cramps are painful sensations in your lower body that often occur at night during pregnancy.

What causes it?

Nobody is entirely sure what causes leg cramps. Some believe they can be attributed to the added weight your body must handle, as leg cramps are most frequent during the third trimester. Dehydration could also be the culprit, as could blood circulation problems caused by your expanding uterus and the pressure it exerts.


Stretching, activity, and staying well-hydrated are the best ways you can try to combat or prevent leg cramps, although because nobody is really sure what causes them, there is no highly-advanced way to treat them. Massages or heat application could also help with the cramping. Your healthcare provider may be able to provide insightful advice as to how you may be able to get some relief.

Reviewed by Dr. Jamie Lo
Read more
  • Roger W. Harms, M.D. “What causes leg cramps during pregnancy, and can they be prevented?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 4/18/2013. Web.
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