Leg Cramps During Pregnancy

Leg cramps/restless leg syndrome in pregnancy

Leg Cramps/ Restless Leg Syndrome: What you should know and what can you do about it

What are leg cramps during pregnancy?

Every time you lie down do you feel something tingling in your legs or have a creepy crawly sensation in your legs? Have an overwhelming urge to move them? You possibly are having a condition called as the Restless Leg Syndrome.

Causes of leg cramps during pregnancy

People who are not pregnant also do experience the RLS. The reason why it happens is not yet clear though. Studies suggest that a lack of sufficient folic acid or iron or the hormonal changes (rise in oestrogen) could be factors causing RLS.

Also remember, sometimes during the second trimester, also another common cause of cramping is round ligament pain. The round ligament is one of the muscles that supports the uterus. This might cause a dull throbbing pain or at times a sharp pain through your lower abdomen

Treatment for leg cramps during pregnancy

Treatment for RLS is not defined as not many studies are available about how they affect a pregnancy so are best avoided now.

If you get leg cramps, try to stretch your calf muscles. After that you should straighten your and gently try flex your toes back toward your shins. This will hurt at first but eventually this will alleviate the pain. Also try heat and cold compress intermittently, this has been known to help with leg cramps during pregnancy.

But one does need one’s sleep so here are some things you could do to cope with RLS

How to handle restless leg syndrome in pregnancy

  • If not yet out of your diet, avoid caffeine altogether. It aggravates the issue.
  • Exercise each day, take a small stroll maybe. Do not time the stroll right before you go to sleep though as you might end up too wound up and sleep will still be elusive.
  • Try and establish to a sleep routine and stick to it. You will find it easier to fall asleep.
  • A nice long and warm bath before going to bed could be relaxing and help you sleep better.
  • When you do have RLS, massaging the leg could help.
  • When experiencing RLS you could also try a hot/ cold compress.
  • Distract your mind, it should help matters.
  • If all else fails, consult your gynaecologist for supplements to help deal with RLS.

And remember to keep yourself aware of pain while experiencing RLS and consult a doctor if it increases beyond what you can take.

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