Cramps plagued most every one of my pregnancies. Supplements offered mild, temporary relief, at best. Read on to find out how bone broth finally helped!
By Daja, Contributing Writer
My Biggest Pregnancy Complaint
I had my first muscle cramp in my leg in my first pregnancy. It woke me up in the dead of night. What in the world was going on? And how could I make sure it never happened again?
There was a ton of folk advice (stand on a cold floor, eat a handful of salt, put a bar of soap under your sheets, etc.) and advice from “experts” in books (massage it out, drink more milk, suck it up and deal with it). None of this proved to be helpful for me. Sorry. Just no.
So, I suffered on. In every pregnancy. It started with leg cramps. Eventually I started getting belly cramps. Right in the ol’ round ligament muscle. Hurt like H. E. Double Hockeysticks! The seventh pregnancy was the worst. Cramps came day and night without warning. They’d knock the wind right out of my sales. They’d pass, but leave the muscle so sore. The only thing that offered mild help was taking a calcium/magnesium liquid supplement. I took it daily and at the onset of the cramp. But the relief was never fast enough, nor did it last long enough.
Needless to say in my eighth pregnancy, I was scared. Please, God, don’t let it happen again! Midway through that pregnancy I realized that I hadn’t had a single cramp. Not a leg cramp. Not a belly cramp. Nothing. Nada. It was bliss!
How Bone Broth Solved My Muscle Cramps In Pregnancy
What Made The Difference
Thinking through the changes we made in the year prior, I became convinced that the most important change we made was drinking daily bone broth!!! I ran my hypothesis by The Food Renegade. She said, “It’s definitely the calcium. You would have had a similar response if you had increased your dairy consumption, too! It also goes to show the difference between supplemented calcium and calcium from FOOD.” Although increasing our dairy intake would have been great, the bone broth was a much cheaper endeavor than grass-fed, raw dairy.
As that pregnancy continued, I realized further that I experienced no swelling whatsoever and my blood pressure stayed perfect. How was it possible that after eight pregnancies I would suddenly feel so good being pregnant?!
Bone broth is a treasure! It provides:
- hyaluronic acid
- and a host of other trace minerals!
So, I became a bone broth believer! I have since had my ninth child and again, the pregnancy was without the constantly cramping that plagued my first 7 pregnancies.
How to Make Bone Broth
Place bones on a baking sheet, along with some vegetables (onion, celery, and carrots are good). Roast in the oven at 400F until they are all toasty and brown.
Place the bones and vegetables in a pot and cover with water. Add several tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice. (The added acid will draw out more minerals from the bones.)
Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer on the back burner. Back burner, because you are going to let it simmer for a day or two. Alternately you can simmer it in the crockpot.
Watch it for the first hour or so and skim off any icky-looking foam that rises to the surface. This foam won’t hurt you, but broth is tastier if you skim it off. As it simmers you may need to add more water from time-to-time.
When your broth is a beautiful rich color strain out the bones! If the bones are not yet brittle (meaning you can break or crush them in your fingers) it means there are still some valuable minerals locked inside! Feel free to add some water and fresh vegetable and process again! The beautiful broth you are left with can be further flavored with salt, pepper, herbs, etc. Drink it as is, use it as a base for soup or beans, or freeze it for future recipes.