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I had the same problem with my first, but then I' also get a hurrendous charley horse in my thighs towards the end of my pregnancy, just from walking around the house or on the sales floor at work. I tried to tough it out, but it's no fun at all, so I asked my doctor. He said there's really nothing to prevent them, other than eating bananas for the potassium and just remembering to guzzle tons of water throughout the day. Now, with my second pregnancyy about to wrap up, I'm not getting them during my sleep, but after 6pm, I get the thigh cramps again. The only thing that keeps them away is laying down or sitting. The fastest way to relieve it right when it happens though, is just to stretch that muscle group.
I had them with my first, but not my second and it was always in the middle of the night. I drank tons of water but it still didn't help. I increased my intake of milk during my second pregnancy because my mom told me that was something her doctor told her years ago when she was pregnant with my sister. So you may want to try that.