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How To Manage Restless Legs When Pregnant

Posted by Nima Rafizadeh on

It just doesn’t seem fair. Just when you think you’ve gotten used to all the physical and emotional issues that pregnancy can bring, suddenly your legs don’t seem to want to go to sleep when you do. First, don’t worry, having restless legs when pregnant is not a cause for concern. Anywhere from 15% to 30% of expecting moms will get restless leg syndrome (RLS); most often in the third trimester.

The Signs & Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome

Doctors and scientists aren't sure about what causes RLS symptoms in pregnant women. One theory is that it’s due to an imbalance of the brain chemical dopamine, which helps to control your muscles. It is also linked to a lack of folic acid or an iron deficiency in your system.

Different women with RLS during pregnancy will have somewhat different symptoms.
The basic symptom is an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. You may also experience cramps, aches or twitches in your legs and have difficulty falling asleep. Symptoms tend to get worse as your due date approaches.

4 Ways of Treating RLS

If you suspect you have RLS, you should consult your doctor first. Definitely, do not take any medication or supplements without your doctor’s advice.

  1. Get Some Exercise - RLS symptoms are less noticeable when you are active. Low impact exercise, including stretching, yoga and walking can help.
  2. Have a Warm Bath - It may be the solution to many of life’s issues, but for RLS, it can help your leg muscles relax.
  3. Massage Your Legs - Gently massaging your legs can also help relax your muscles, and improve circulation.
  4. Use Compression Wear - Considering you can’t take medicine unless it's prescribed by a doctor, options like compression shapewear, including Mass & Slim’s compression leggings, can offer relief when you can’t find it anywhere else. Compression wear exerts a gentle massaging action on your legs as you wear it. It can also help improve your circulation even when you’re sitting or standing. And it helps increase skin temperature to give you yet another muscle relaxation technique.

If you liked this post, check out our recent article “Postpartum Compression Wear - Get In Shape After Baby Arrives”.

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