Marie, I am 24 weeks pregnant, and why I lay down, my leg gets restless and starts moving non-stop. My cousin said it was restless leg syndrome, but I don’t know what that means. Why does this only happen to me when I am pregnant? Thanks for your help, Émilie.
Émilie, what you seem to be experiencing is restless legs syndrome (RLS). Approximately 1.9 to 15% of pregnant women will have this symptom during pregnancy. It’s often described as a feeling of leg restlessness and agitation when lying down or resting, with or without a tingling or crawling feeling.
One of the known causes of this syndrome is a mineral imbalance. If you eat well from all food groups and are already taking multivitamins containing folic acid, vitamin B, calcium, magnesium and iron, you are getting enough minerals and vitamins. Other causes can also play in this mechanism like, dopamine and hormonal changes.
que tu prends déjà tes multivitamines de grossesse contenant ton acide folique, ….
Your pregnancy may have also brought out this dimension you have never experienced before. It’s not dangerous for you or your baby, so don’t be worried! But it can be very uncomfortable, mainly since restless legs frequently occur while resting or at night, which won’t help you sleep. There are no medications to cure this syndrome, but you can help reduce their impact. There are non-pharmacological things you can do:
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, chocolate, tobacco;éviter les stimulants comme la caféine, hocolat, tabac;
- Avoid drugs;
- Some cold medications can cause this side-effect;
- Set a regular sleep schedule;
- Do light to moderate, but not intense, exercises;faire de l’activité physique légère à modérée mais pas intense;
- Stretch if you have pain to avoid calf cramps and spasms;
- Massage your calves;
- Apply a hot compress for 2 minutes, followed by a cold compress for 1 minute. Repeat several times before going to bed;
- Try relaxing activities before going to bed, such as reading, breathing, meditation to avoid focusing on your restless legs issue.
Émilie, I hope this answers your question and will help you to increase your comfort.
The Baby Expert