How to Handle Restless Leg Syndrome During Pregnancy

How to Handle Restless Leg Syndrome During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of major change in not just the routine of life, but in a woman’s body. Some are expected, some are uncomfortable but necessary, and others are just problems. Restless legs and restless leg syndrome might not seem like a major problem, but it can be a significant disruption in an expectant mother’s routine and even her health.

Restless legs are when there’s uncontrolled muscle tremors in the legs. The twitching and tingling is not just distracting, it can sometimes even be very discomforting. And many who find themselves dealing with restless legs are unable to sleep, or stay asleep, as the discomfort in their legs causes them to want to get up and move around. The movement helps distract them from the muscular discomfort, and helps to ease the symptoms in their legs. Of course, it’s difficult to sleep while on your feet.

Fifteen percent of women develop restless legs while pregnant, and unfortunately there’s no easy medical fix. Doctors usually recommend various lifestyle changes to help treat or ease the symptoms when they occur. Diet can be a cause, if iron or folic acid isn’t being consumed in sufficient quantities. Changing sleep positions can help, as can trying certain exercises and leg motions when the spasms occur.

Key Points:

  • 1Restless leg syndrome affects up to 15% of women who are pregnant.
  • 2Restless leg syndrome can sometimes be caused by low levels in iron and/or folic acid.
  • 3One good way to help spasms is to point and flex your foot and give your legs a good stretch.


When leg spasms hit, gently point and flex your foot, which provides a subtle stretch for your legs. You can also try stretching your legs before you tuck in, which might help prevent a case of restless leg syndrome as you sleep.
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