Restless Leg Syndrome During Pregnancy (Symptoms, Home Remedies)
Most pregnant women are eager to rest to relieve pain, vomiting, heavy weight due to a child in their belly, and many other problems. However, there seems to be a nervous system disorder that can even affect their sleeping time, known as restless legs syndrome (RLS).
This disorder, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, makes mothers repeatedly move their legs when they feel itchy and burning in their legs, interrupting their resting.
In the following article, the Hipregnancy team will investigate the symptoms and causes of this disorder and tell how you can overcome restless leg syndrome during pregnancy. In addition, we will provide home remedies that can help you. So, keep reading if you want to know how to fix RLS during pregnancy.
What is RLS?
Let us assure you that you are not alone, and unfortunately, this disease is known to affect both men and women. However, it is shown to affect women, especially pregnant women, more often (more than 20%).
RLS, a sleeping disorder, creates the urge to move the legs during sleep, reducing the pain resulting from tingling or burning sensations. Note that the severity of this disorder differs from time to time; hence, you will need to talk to your physician about how severe it can be.
Restless leg syndrome during pregnancy symptoms
You might experience RLS during pregnancy, but what are its symptoms? The followings are the symptoms of restless legs while pregnant, including;
- An overwhelming urge to move your legs
- Unpleasant sensations in your legs like burning, itching, tingling, a creepy-crawly sensation (like ants moving up and down the legs)
The symptoms mentioned above may worsen resting, especially at night. Moreover, they are worse below you knee and may cause a lack of sleep. But you shouldn’t worry about restless legs when pregnant because restless leg syndrome during pregnancy relief is available to help you manage its symptoms.
If you agree, let’s continue to see what causes RLS during pregnancy in the following part.
What causes restless legs when pregnant?
Some ladies who experience restless leg syndrome in early or throughout pregnancy. Undoubtedly, you want to know the reason behind this health issue. It is important to note that physicians have not found reliable tests to diagnose restless leg syndrome in pregnancy; therefore, they only rely on patients’ symptoms and medical history. The main causes of RLS during pregnancy are as follows:
1- Pregnancy: How does restless leg syndrome relate to pregnancy? Research on pregnant women and RLS disorder found that pregnant women most likely experience restless leg syndrome during pregnancy 3rd trimester. Changes in hormones can explain such an occurrence.
2- Genetics and Inheritance. Genetics is why we inherit attributes from our fathers and mothers, e.g., eye colors, intelligence, disease, etc. Research on RLS and genetics show that women can inherit this disease, and age can affect this disorder.
3- Low iron levels. Lack of iron and red blood cells is the most common event among women. Women suffering from RLS are assumed to have low iron and red blood cells. Studies have shown a connection between low iron and a higher chance of RLS, but their connection has yet to be fully understood, and more studies are required. Also, remember that low iron happens mostly after nighttime, so the chance of restless leg syndrome during pregnancy is higher at night.
4- Other causes of these disorders include depression, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and Rheumatoid arthritis.
Now you know what causes rls during pregnancy. It’s time to answer this question: “When does rls start during pregnancy?” Keep reading to find the answer to this question in the below section.
When does restless leg syndrome during pregnancy start?
Since each pregnancy is unique, each pregnant woman may develop restless leg syndrome in different trimesters. Studies show that about 1 in 4 pregnant ladies may experience restless leg syndrome during pregnancy third trimester, and about 1 in 7 may experience restless leg syndrome during pregnancy 1st trimester.
To conclude, RLS may start in the first trimester or third trimester, but most often happens in the third trimester of pregnancy.
If you are ready, let’s continue with the answer to this question: “How to calm restless leg syndrome during pregnancy?” The following tells you how to eliminate it.
How can I stop restless legs during pregnancy?
There are numerous options that you can choose from to manage or treat restless leg syndrome during pregnancy. You can use medication or home remedies to treat rls during pregnancy. Note that your physician should be prescribe medication for RLS, and any drug use without doctor’s permission can put you and your baby in danger.
The following options are recommended for managing and, ultimately, treating restless leg syndrome during pregnancy:
- Any food item that can elevate the RLS symptom during pregnancy should be avoided. Also, alcohol-containing drinks, coffee, energy drinks, and smoking should be avoided at all costs.
- If you already use medication from your previous or current conditions, you should consult your doctor about the implications of using your new and old medication together.
- If you lack the required vitamins and minerals, you should take the necessary medication and food items to eliminate such conditions.
- Therapy under the supervision of a physical therapist can also help you relieve symptoms.
Restless leg syndrome during pregnancy home remedies
A common query of ladies from their doctor is: “Are there any restless leg syndrome during pregnancy home remedies?” The following home remedies can help you reduce the symptoms.
- Self-Care Treatment
Any activity or exercise you can do for your health; this includes stretching, massaging, and using vibratory or electrical stimulation. You should also consider relaxation techniques, such as Yoga.
- Iron-containing food items
As mentioned above, iron deficiency is the main cause of RLS during pregnancy ; therefore, consuming iron-containing food is highly recommended. If prescribed by your doctor, you can use iron supplements.
In addition, you can follow healthier and non-medication options to acquire iron. Food items such as red meat and its products, fish types, nuts, breakfast cereal, and green vegetables (spinach, broccoli) can also help you increase iron levels. You can change your diet if you are a vegetarian. Consult your doctor to choose the best option.
- Restless Leg Relaxer Foot Wrap
If you have pain in a specific area of your leg, you can use these foot wraps to apply pressure to these regions. Based on reports issued by the manufacturer, it can help calm the nerves and muscles. In other words, your pain and RLS symptoms will be demoted.
Once again, these wraps should be prescribed by your physician. Once acquired, you can use it anytime you need it, especially at night times.
- Always have heated or cooled pads at your house.
You have two options: either use medical heated and cooled pads, or the easiest way at your house, using fabric soaked in cold or hot water. Then, you only need to place the pad or fabric on the muscle you sense pain. Using these two strategies, you can reduce the uncomfortable sensation RLS produces.
Also, never forget to take a hot bath for restless legs when pregnant, as it is one of the great ways to reduce RLS-caused pains. Taking a hot bath will help your blood vessels open up and better blood flow through your veins.
Consider that consulting your doctor is a must if you suffer from severe restless leg syndrome during pregnancy, in which the severe rls symptoms interrupt your sleep every night. You should talk to your health professional and ask what helps your rls while pregnant.
When will restless leg syndrome during pregnancy go away?
The good news for ladies who develop restless legs during pregnancy is that their symptoms will disappear a few days after delivery. Consider that some ladies experience symptoms until one month after delivery, but their population is few.
In sum, you should expect your restless leg syndrome during pregnancy to end a few days after giving birth or a month afterward. You should talk to your doctor if your symptoms won’t go away a month after giving birth, as your RLS might not result from pregnancy.
Are you having difficulties have asleep in your bed due to an unpleasant feeling of pain in your legs? Do you have this every week and repeatedly? There is a chance that you are suffering from restless legs syndrome or RLS.
This disorder can occur at any time in your life, meaning that you should also expect restless leg syndrome during pregnancy. To manage this disorder and ease the pain while carrying your baby, we provided several home remedies and medication options to manage the pain. However, remember that one option may only work for some. Hence, you better consult an experienced physician about restless leg syndrome pregnancy relief.
Our Hipregnancy team is also available 24/7 to answer any question you may have, do not hesitate to contact us.
1. How to relieve rls during pregnancy?
There are many restless leg remedies while pregnant, including eating healthy food items, especially iron-rich ones, using a heating pad, not drinking caffeinated beverages, getting a regular sleep routine, and many other ways we have mentioned in this article.
2. Is restless leg syndrome a sign of preeclampsia?
RLS is not a sign of preeclampsia, but the risk of developing preeclampsia in those ladies with restless legs syndrome during pregnancy is higher.