[2020 Version] Restless Legs During Pregnancy
A tickling feeling in your legs? You can no longer keep your legs still, especially when you just go to sleep? And if you are pregnant, then you are probably suffering from restless legs during your pregnancy.
In this article we try to convey the good information about this pregnancy disorder to you as concisely and clearly as possible. Let's go.
What are restless legs during pregnancy?
Restless legs is that annoying feeling in your legs, which forces you to move. The unpleasant feeling can be described as itching and jitters. Especially if you want to go to sleep this can be very disturbing. In addition, it can also cost you precious hours of sleep, which you already need extra during your pregnancy.
Restless legs, restless legs or restless legs (RLS) is a condition that occurs in 25% of pregnant women. No unknown pregnancy disorder. Pregnant women are therefore two to three times more likely to have restless legs than the rest of the population. (Pregnancy as a risk factor for restless legs syndrome Mauro Manconia, *, Vittorio Govonic, Alessandro De Vitoc, Nicolas Tiberio Economouc, Edward Cesnikc, Gioacchino Mollicab, Enrico Granieric)
Let's answer your most important question right away: is restless legs dangerous during pregnancy?
No. Restless legs are not dangerous. The ailment can cause the necessary disturbance of the night's rest, and therefore fatigue. Restless legs can occur from the beginning of pregnancy, but often the symptoms are most severe around the seventh and eighth month (third trimester)
Restless legs often also go with cramps in other parts of the legs, such as the calves.
Restless legs often remain during pregnancy, however, the condition goes away quickly after you give birth.
What is the cause of restless legs?
The cause of restless legs is still unclear. Yet there have been many studies into the possible causes. These studies indicate the following:
- Many doctors claim that the pregnancy disorder is related to poorer blood flow in the legs. During pregnancy you get (more) to do with the hormone progesterone. This hormone causes your blood vessels to weaken, which leads to poor circulation in the legs. This leads to restless legs.
-Some studies claim that the condition is just hereditary. You would or would not suffer from restless legs based on your genes
-Vitamin deficiency. Because you are pregnant, your body naturally needs more vitamins. A deficiency of these vitamins would also contribute to the symptoms of restless legs during pregnancy.
Iron deficiency. Again, your body has to endure a lot during pregnancy. A shortage of iron that can arise would also cause restless legs.
-Folium acid deficiency. Ditto as an iron deficiency. You can get all kinds of deficits during pregnancy, including a folic acid deficiency. Such a deficiency can also contribute to restless legs during pregnancy.
-Pressures of nerves in the legs are sometimes the cause of restless legs. Hereby you will also be less able to move the legs and often also experience pain.
-Kidneys. When the kidneys work less well, the symptoms of restless legs can also increase. Only then the restless legs will most likely not be the only complaints you experience.
What to do against restless legs: tips that you can implement yourself
The causes are quite different and therefore there are many different solutions or exercises against restless legs. These ideas were all created to relieve the symptoms, not to prevent the disease as a whole.
-What you should not do with restless legs during pregnancy-
-Drinking coffee, especially before bedtime, this is disastrous -Using devices with blue light (such as television or telephone) shortly before you go to bed.-Do not sit and stand behind each other for too long. Try to move and find alternation between standing and sitting. Especially during pregnancy, this can cause poorer blood flow, which in turn leads to restless legs.
-What you should do with restless legs during pregnancy-
-Try to raise the legs while sleeping. For example by putting a pillow under your legs when you go to sleep. It is also useful to only go to bed when you really want to go to sleep. This way you won't look too much on your mobile just before you go to sleep. - Massage the legs before you go to bed. This ensures better circulation and your legs will feel a lot lighter.
-An easy way to prevent restless legs during your pregnancy is to use compression socks. These are socks that exert a slight pressure on the (lower) legs, which stimulates blood flow in the legs. Because of this you will experience less restless legs.
-This tip is very vague, but people swear by this. Use a bar of soap and place it under your fitted sheet, where your feet are. So there is no evidence for this, but for some people this works extremely well.
-With a vitamin deficiency you should therefore get more vitamins. For this you can mainly focus on getting vitamin B12.-The same applies to an iron deficiency. In this case try to eat things with a lot of iron, such as bananas and whole-grain products. You can also consider taking iron tablets (always consult your doctor about such things) - In the case of a folic acid deficiency you will be able to take supplements. This should also be discussed with the doctor. - Is it now that the restless legs strike while you are in bed? Then get out of bed, walk around and stretch the calves a little with stretching exercises.
Exercises against restless legs
If you want to actively prevent restless legs, then you can consider doing the following exercises:
- Air bikes: lie on the floor, on your back. Put your legs in the air and make a cycling movement with your legs.
-Yoga. Try some yoga exercises before you go to sleep. This can also help you unwind.