Dealing With Restless Leg Syndrome During Pregnancy

Commonly, pregnant women have a condition called Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Individuals with this condition describe it as a creepy-crawly, burning, or itchy sensation that gives them an irresistible urge to move their legs. When they move, the feeling frequently lessens. But by then, the sensation has already woken them up.

Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome in Pregnancy

Experts don’t know exactly what causes the sensations in the legs at night. Some believe it may stem from an imbalance of the brain’s chemical dopamine. It usually helps keep muscle movements smooth. RLS in pregnancy may be triggered by folic acid or iron deficiency. There’s also a particular indication that increasing estrogen levels throughout pregnancy may contribute to RLS.

Trying to calm your restless legs all night can make you sleepy and irritable during the day. Having Restless Leg Syndrome can also make you more likely to have a longer labor and to need a C-section.

Treating Restless Leg Syndrome While Pregnant

If you have a severe symptom that interrupts your sleep night, you’ll probably want to see your doctor get the condition treated. This condition could be challenging during pregnancy.

Most medications usually used to treat Restless Leg Syndrome, such as Mirapex (Pramipexole) and Requip (Ropinirole), have not been studied widely in pregnant women. As a result, there is no adequate data to define all potential risks for a developing fetus.

Before you take any medication for Restless Leg Syndrome, your doctor must check your iron levels. In several cases where the supply of iron in the body is low, a supplement will be enough to correct the condition.

If your symptoms still don’t be off after an iron deficiency has been treated, some doctors will recommend opioid medication. Risk of withdrawal symptoms in a newborn, opioids is usually given for a short time.

Lifestyle Changes

If your Restless Leg Syndrome isn’t that severe, try to make some simple changes to your routine. These lifestyle changes have been shown to not only lessen the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome but also good for your pregnancy in general:

  • Use a heating pad
  • Exercise each day, but stop within a couple of hours of bedtime so you don’t get too wound up to sleep.
  • Get into a regular sleep routine. If you can, go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Before bed, relax with a warm bath.
  • Avoid drinking soda, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages.

When you wake up with Restless Leg Syndrome, try these tips to make the troubling feeling go away so you can get back to sleep:

  • Apply a cold or warm compress to your leg muscles
  • Get up and stretch your legs
  • Massage your legs

Restless Leg Syndrome may resolve after giving birth. Within a few days, after your baby is born, it will disappear. However, it is still important to get in touch with your doctor in case the condition does not go away after a few months.

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