Many women suffer from leg cramps during pregnancy, especially at night. As far as we know, no cause has yet been determined for these painful cramps. Doctors and scientists have been searching for causes, researching theories such as low potassium, magnesium, or calcium levels.

None of these ideas have been proven, and most likely the cramping occurs simply from muscle fatigue from carrying around the extra pregnancy weight. These cramps most often occur in your calves, but they can affect your feet and thighs as well. If you get leg cramps, try the following:

• Stretch the affected calf by flexing at the ankle so that your toes are pointed toward your head. Do not point your toes as this may aggravate your cramp.

• Wear support hose, especially compression stocking that are graduated, meaning they are tighter at the foot and looser near the knee.

• Stretch your legs and calves before going to bed.

• Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and evening.

• Massage the affected muscle.

• Apply local heat.

• While holding on to something for support, such as a countertop, squat down to the floor.