Cures for Restless Leg Syndrome in Pregnancy

Sometimes a pregnant woman may develop strange, unpleasant sensations (often described as "crawling" or "creeping") in her legs along with an irresistible desire to move them. This feeling is called "restless leg syndrome" and according to BabyCentre.com, it strikes about 15 percent of pregnant women. Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a disorder of the nervous system, but is also considered a sleep disorder, as the symptoms often appear at night while the body is at rest. While there is no cure for RLS, there are a few steps a pregnant woman can take to eliminate or decrease the symptoms.

  1. Iron Supplements

    • It is unclear what causes RLS. However according to BabyCentre.com, some experts claim that pregnancy can cause a lack of stored iron in the body, which in turn can give rise to or worsen the symptoms of RLS. Thus, one form of treatment for pregnant RLS-sufferers is to take iron-supplements. Speak with your doctor to find out how much iron is right for you. Self-medicating could be dangerous for you and your baby.

    Avoid Caffeine, alcohol and tobacco

    • When pregnant, avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. However, RLS sufferers should make an extra effort to stay away these substances as they are believed to exacerbate the symptoms. With respect to caffeine, don't just avoid obvious items like coffee or cola; chocolate also contains substantial caffeine, as does black or green tea.

    Hot and Cold Therapy

    • Applying a heating pad or cold compress to your legs is believed to help soothe RLS symptoms, as is taking a warm or cool bath. However, according to BabyCenter.com, pregnant women should not bathe in water warmer than 100 degrees F to maintain a safe, healthy environment for the baby.

    Establish a Good Sleep Routine

    • According to Medscape.com, sleep deprivation can aggravate symptoms of RLS. Thus, establishing good sleeping habits may improve RLS symptoms. For example, as a pregnant RLS-sufferer, be sure to use your bed only for sleeping. Having stressful associations with the bed can affect sleep. Keep pleasant and relaxing thoughts in your mind when going to bed--investing in a good meditation or relaxation CD can help.

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