Restless Leg Syndrome in Pregnancy
Posted on January 24, 2017 - 2:05pm
10 things you should know about restless legs in pregnancy:
- Discomfort or agitation in the legs during pregnancy. Often described as a jumpy, pulling, jittery or tingling sensation through the legs.
- Around 25 % of pregnant women experience restless leg syndrome (RLS).
- Can be difficult to sit still or rest and can cause fatigue and insomnia.
- Most commonly occurs at night, but can flare up during the day particularly when sitting for long periods.
- Several theories about the cause of RLS, such as vitamin and mineral deficiency (iron, magnesium or B12), circulation changes or hormonal changes (specifically a rise in oestrogen), however the cause is still not completely known.
- It is only temporary and usually peaks in the last month of pregnancy and disappears not long after birth.
- Dehydration can aggravate RLS, so stay hydrated and avoid diuretics such as caffeine sources (tea, coffee, chocolate, energy drinks).
- Diet rich in vitamins, minerals and electrolytes is recommended. Iron, Vitamin B12, folate, magnesium and calcium supplements in pregnancy can help reduce symptoms if more severe. Particularly calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium are crucial to muscle function and relaxation.
- Regular low impact exercise to improve circulation and blood flow.
- Try natural therapies such as yoga, meditation, relaxation techniques, deep tissue massage, hot or cold packs, warm baths and acupuncture.
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