Known mostly among middle-age and the older generation, Restless Leg Syndrome is also common among pregnant women, as their bodies are also going through changes. It is thought that 20 percent of pregnant women will have RLS symptoms, or are more likely to develop symptoms during the last trimester of their pregnancy.
The reasons are not fully known as to why this occurs, though it is thought that iron and/or folate deficiencies, as well as hormonal change and circulatory changes tend to increase the discomfort associated with RLS. This is not unique, however, and should not be alarming as they are common during pregnancy and will often dissipate after giving birth.
Watch Coffee and Cigarettes
While pregnant it is advised to minimize your intake of caffeine and refrain from smoking, these things are known not only thought to cause some issues with pregnancy itself and the unborn child; they can greatly increase the possibility or severity of RLS symptoms.
During pregnancy sleep issues become a general concern as it becomes difficult to get comfortable as well as the numerous emotional changes, again adding to the chance of RLS issues. If you have had a history of RLS in the past, pregnancy can make it worse though it is important to remember it will be temporary. Knowing ahead of time what has worked to relieve symptoms before pregnancy, keep in mind they may not work as well the important thing is to keep trying.
As expected, pregnant women with and without RLS are found to have one difference, women who showed lower hemoglobin levels or iron deficiency, in addition to vitamin deficiencies, all of which can add to RLS symptoms. In turn, those without RLS had higher hemoglobin levels, with sufficient levels of iron and vitamins in their bodies. This may be the one of the most important reasons why doctors first prescribe prenatal vitamins from the start to maintain iron levels and other essential vitamins in the body.
While it is known to be prevalent in pregnant women, RLS can often go unrecognized, chalking it up to a mere inconvenience of pregnancy in turn do not seek care. Though it is best to no use multiple medications during pregnancy, should symptoms become severe, a doctor may prescribe certain medications that will be safe, though will wait until the last trimester to ensure safety for your baby.
As is to be expected and much preferred by most is simple lifestyle changes. Taking a warm bath can help relax your body, not only your legs, but the overall discomfort due to your bodys changes. Try not to lie down long before bedtime; decrease the intake of sugary food, as these things alone can trigger the symptoms of RLS.
It is best to keep in mind that finding the best ways to relieve your symptoms will ease your mind and relieve stress; which of course can add to symptoms. In the end remember, it is believed symptoms will vanish with the first few weeks after giving birth.