How To Help Your Achy & Restless Legs While Pregnant
As much as we’d love to tell you that pregnancy is all rainbows and butterflies, we can’t. While some women somehow manage to waltz through pregnancy on the tip of a cloud, most women experience the not-so-glorious side of pregnancy too. The sickness, the moodiness, and the pain are common for most women and hopefully don’t all occur at once.
Pain isn't reserved strictly for labor, instead occurring in spurts throughout the term of the pregnancy. For many women, it occurs in ever-present aches and strain within the legs. While the verdict is still out on what directly causes leg pain, there are numerous possibilities. It could be the extra weight your body isn't used to toting around, compressed blood vessels in the legs decreasing circulation, or even that sweet little child robbing you of all of your nutrients. Fortunately, there are actions you can take to alleviate the pain that can (and likely will) occur.
Elevate When Possible
No one expects you to sit at your job with your legs propped up on your desk, but you should keep them elevated when possible. Your heart does a great job of pumping your blood to your extremities but it can take some extra work to get the blood pumping back. When you elevate your legs, you let gravity do some of the work.
Drink Plenty of Water
You’ve heard professionals tell you your entire life to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, but it’s even more important while you’re pregnant. Water helps regulate a lot of your body’s functions, which are being shared with the growing baby inside you. It’s especially vital to drink water to regulate your hormones, keep your blood flowing, and carry extra nutrients to the baby.
Get Plenty of Nutrients
Your baby is growing every day and is going to need plenty of nutrients to support this growth. Your child is going to take all of the nutrients it can get, which could leave you shorthanded if you’re not getting enough of the good stuff. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium-rich foods will help keep you and baby healthy.
Remember to Stretch
Stretching throughout the day can help increase blood flow to the area. Flex your toes towards your shins to reduce the likelihood of charley horses, which are very common during pregnancy.
Wearing compression tights, socks, or leggings can promote healthy blood flow to your legs, reducing the painful aches and tired feeling in your legs. Gradient compression, available in all Preggers products, also prevents swelling. Compression legwear is especially beneficial for pregnant women who need to sit or stand for prolonged periods of time, especially for work.
It may sound contradictory, but getting up and moving around may help your leg pain. Gentle exercise, like walking or water aerobics, can improve circulation and relief pain.
Make sure your doctor is aware of your exercise plan and gives you the go-ahead before proceeding.
Get A Massage
Pregnancy is the perfect reason to relax a little with a soothing prenatal massage. That extra weight your baby is adding could be doing a number on your sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back and down both legs. A prenatal massage is specially designed for you and baby to promote proper blood flow and relieve strain in areas that fall victim to the stresses of pregnancy.
Pain in the legs associated with pregnancy is typically in both legs. If you’re experiencing pain in only one leg, you should contact your health provider, since this can be a sign of Deep Vein Thrombosis. If you have any concerns or extreme pain that persists, ask your doctor for professional recommendations.