Pregnancy Week by Week

Get a window on what’s happening in your pregnancy, week by week. From week four to week 42, your baby is experiencing a miraculous transformation from a clump of cells to a fully formed (and totally cute) newborn. Just imagine, as early as five weeks, your baby is already starting to form major organs (heart, stomach, liver, and kidneys) and systems (digestive, circulatory, nervous). By eight weeks, your raspberry-sized womb-mate is moving her arms and legs. At the beginning of your second trimester (week 14), your wee one is sucking his thumb. By week 28, the first week of the third trimester, baby (now as big as an eggplant) is prepping for breathing, developing his eyesight and packing on pounds in anticipation of life outside the womb. Each week is a new miracle. Less miraculous is how a mom-to-be may feel. Pregnancy Week-by-Week charts your baby’s development but also lets mom know what she might be feeling during each week of her pregnancy. Pregnancy week by Week includes everything mom needs to know to feel a sense of control over her pregnancy. Each week offers a complete guide to what you might feel, your must-do’s, your nice-to do’s, and answers and advice on everything pregnancy-related. Plus each week’s guide offers tips on maintaining a healthy and comfortable pregnancy from strategies on coping with pregnancy symptoms (morning sickness anyone?) to ideas for healthy eating, and pointers on talking to your OB. Let us guide you along your pregnancy, week by week.

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Q&A: Leg cramps during pregnancy?

Why do I get leg cramps and how can I get rid of them?

Re: Why do I get leg cramps and how can I get rid of them?

The Bump Expert

You're not alone -- leg cramps (otherwise known as charley horses) are actually quite common during pregnancy and may signal one or two things: a lack of nutrients or dehydration. When your body doesn't have enough water or sodium, your muscles can contract; this is what you feel as a cramp. To prevent cramps caused by dehydration, be sure you're drinking between eight and 12 glasses of water a day. If water's not quite your thing, you can include milk, juice (avoid juice packed with sugar), sparkling water and decaf tea and coffee in the mix, too.

The other problem may be your diet. Drops in potassium, calcium or magnesium can all lead to muscle spasms. Now that you're pregnant, you should have 4,700 milligrams of potassium, 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium and 350 to 360 milligrams of magnesium per day.

Leg cramps tend to be more common (and painful!) in the third trimester. So if you haven't felt this yet, you may still -- just think of all that extra weight your legs are going to have to carry soon! In addition to eating and drinking right, there are some things you can do to limit those sharp pains in your calves. Stretching will keep your muscles more elastic and less likely to contract. Walking around and getting that blood flowing might help, too.

David E. Zepeda, MD, OB/GYN at The Women's Specialists of Houston affiliated with Texas Children's Hospital Pavilion for Women and clinical associate professor, Baylor College of Medicine

Q&A: Leg cramps during pregnancy?

I flex my legs till they go away, sometimes I will even take a walk.

slaskay1 |

Q&A: Leg cramps during pregnancy?

I had horrible leg cramps during my first pregnancy, so I was determined to do something about them the second time around. This time, I've had just two instances when my legs really cramped up. During a cramp, it helps to flex the muscle, as painful as it is, and to massage it a bit. After the cramp subsides, I put a heating pad on it to ease soreness. I have found that if I stay hydrated, and go for a brisk walk and/or stretch my legs every day, my legs don't cramp.

bwsf |

Q&A: Leg cramps during pregnancy?

I have leg and foot cramps after driving or walking too long, and when it happens, I drink a shot of apple cider vinegar. It sounds gross and maybe weird, but it takes the cramp away every time!

DresGirl13 |

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