Many pregnant women get restless leg syndrome (RLS), which means an uncontrollable urge to move your legs to get rid of an uncomfortable, "pins and needles" feeling. It’s not a signal that’s anything’s wrong in your pregnancy, but it can disturb your sleep (which is a royal pain in the butt.)
Restless leg syndrome usually rises its ugly head at night, in the lower legs between the knee and ankle. Sometimes it can happen in your feet and arms too.
So, how do you deal with this? Many pregnant women have found relief through warm baths, stretching, massage, and acupuncture. Another suggestion is to write down what you eat. That way, you can see if something you’re eating later in the day is making your legs jumpy at night. Make sure to tell your doctor if you have restless leg syndrome, because they may want to check to make sure you’re not running low on iron.
If your RLS isn't that bad, you can try some simple changes to your day:
- Take a warm bath, or enjoy a good book before going to sleep
- Lay off on the caffeine: drink less coffee, soda, and other caffeinated drinks
- Exercise daily…but make sure to avoid exercising within a few hours of when you go to bed, so you don't get too wound up to sleep.
- Develop a sleep routine: get up and go to bed at the same time every day.
When you wake up with your legs bothering you, here are some tips to make the “pins and needles” feeling go away:
- Try a warm or cold pack on your legs
- Massage your legs
- Walk around
- Stretch your legs
- Read a book or magazine, or watch TV to distract yourself
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