In the second and third trimesters, your baby's growth may add pressure to your uterus and pelvis. Your elevated estrogen levels also cause your ligaments to loosen. This can lead to cramps and back pain. Since leg cramps may be a sign that you need more calcium or potassium in your diet, try eating healthy foods that contain these nutrients. A glass of calcium-enriched orange juice may do the trick. If you do lots of sitting during the day, be sure to take breaks and stretch. If you stand for long periods of time, wearing support hose may be beneficial.
To keep back pain to a minimum, notice the ways you sit, stand, and move, and see if there are ways to lessen the burden on your back. When lifting, be sure to bend at the knees, not the waist, and then lift with your legs, not with your back. For sleeping, try laying on your side with your knees bent and a pillow placed in between them. Place another pillow under your abdomen. This should help to lessen your lower back pain.
If you have pain or swelling in one leg more than the other, if your swelling abruptly worsens, or if your back pain comes and goes and feels like menstrual cramps, contact your health care provider.
Reviewed By: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.