You may be wondering what I am on about, and trust me you are in for a delight with this one.
Just as you settle down, firstly baby thinks it is party time, then when baby settles the Restless Legs kick in.
What is it?
If you feel an uncontrollable urge to move your legs to relieve crawling, tingling, or burning sensations, you probably have restless legs syndrome (RLS).
You’re not alone. One study of more than 600 pregnant women found that over 16 percent reported symptoms of RLS.
Symptoms usually show up when you’re at rest, especially right before you fall asleep or when you’ve been sitting still for long periods, such as at the movies or during a long car ride. Most of the time, you’ll feel the symptoms of RLS in your lower legs, but some women feel it in their feet, thighs, arms, or hands, too.
Moving your limbs brings immediate relief, but the sensations return when you stop moving. Needless to say, this can be very uncomfortable and frustrating, especially when you’re trying to sleep. If RLS keeps you from sleeping night after night, you could end up seriously fatigued.
Fortunately for women who develop RLS during pregnancy, it’s temporary. The symptoms typically peak when you’re 7 or 8 months pregnant and disappear altogether by the time you deliver your baby or within a month afterward.
What causes restless legs syndrome
No single cause has been identified, but research is ongoing. In addition to affecting a good number of pregnant women, RLS affects men, children, and women who aren’t pregnant. And it seems to run in families. For women who already have RLS, it usually gets worse during pregnancy.
No one knows why women who’ve never had RLS develop it during pregnancy, but there are a number of theories. Iron deficiency, folate deficiency, hormonal changes (specifically a rise in estrogen), and circulatory changes are all possible culprits.
Things that help:
- I have been using the tonic water beefore bed theory and it has held them off, but also try:
- Ask your doctor or midwife about trying supplements such as iron, magnesium, vitamin B12, or folate. Depending on the quantities in your prenatal vitamin, your practitioner may or may not want you to take more.
- Some women find it helpful to stretch their legs, get a massage, use hot or cold packs, take warm baths, or practice relaxation techniques. Maybe your significant other will massage or rub your legs until you fall asleep. For lots more tips from moms-to-be, read our article aboutcoping with restless legs syndrome.