Restless Leg Syndrome in Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a joyous time. You’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of your sweet baby while preparing your life for all of the changes that will soon happen within your home. But as you brace for these changes, your body is experiencing changes of its own. Your body is not accustomed to these changes and can often result in difficulties and pains associated with the pregnancy. For about 20 percent of women, this can mean a lack of sleep caused by restless leg syndrome.
What are the symptoms of restless leg syndrome (RLS)?
Restless leg syndrome is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move your legs in order to relieve uncomfortable sensations. It can occur in men, women, and children, but is very commonly found in pregnant women. It’s usually described as an itchy or burning feeling, sometimes as if you have creepy-crawlies on your legs.
Restless leg syndrome during pregnancy can occur anytime your body is still for prolonged times when you’re sitting or lying down. It often occurs in the middle of the night and once you’re awake it may be difficult to go back to sleep, which can make for a difficult next day for you and baby.
What causes restless leg syndrome in pregnant women?
Doctors and scientists aren’t quite sure why some women get RLS and others don’t, but they believe it may be hereditary. Some people are more predisposed to the condition, which will make them more likely to have it during pregnancy. Other doctors believe it could be caused by stress or dietary concerns like a lack of iron or folic acid or general sensitivity to certain foods. Still, others believe it could be caused by an imbalance in dopamine, a brain chemical that controls muscle movement. The cause may still be up in the air but that doesn’t mean it can’t be remedied.
What can I do about restless leg syndrome while I’m pregnant?
Typically your doctor would prescribe medication to combat the condition, but those are off limits while you’re pregnant so it’s best to take a natural approach. Have your doctor test you for iron and folic acid deficiencies and take supplements if needed. Keep a food journal and if you notice certain foods trigger the condition then it’s probably best to keep your distance until your little one is born. Skip your coffee and other caffeine-rich beverages until after you deliver, since it’s been show to provoke symptoms.
Massage your legs and flex your toes back and forth from time to time to keep you’re your blood flowing. Preggers fashionable compression legwear can be worn throughout the day and is specifically designed to help with your circulation so you don’t have to deal with the symptoms of restless leg syndrome without any harm to your baby. The gradient compression technology in Preggers offers the best circulation support for your body and is made of high quality material that will last. You should also avoid sedentary activities for extended periods of time and get plenty of exercise.
What exercises can I do while pregnant?
Exercise is important while you’re pregnant but some activities should be avoided so you don’t put strain on you or your unborn baby. Doctors recommend walking for at least 30 minutes every day while pregnant. A stationary bike and low impact aerobics are great ways to get in cardio exercise while not exceeding a heart rate above 140 beats per minute. Swimming is an ideal exercise and doesn’t require coordination and balance, which can be thrown off during pregnancy. Preggers can also be worn while you’re exercising and is often recommended by doctors, but you should always consult with your own prior to starting any exercise routine.
While restless leg syndrome is an uncomfortable experience, the bright light is that it typically goes away a few days after you deliver your baby. Which is great news, since your little bundle of joy will be keeping you awake instead.