pregnancy tips?

RLS occurs more frequently in certain populations, including people with end-stage renal disease, women during pregnancy, and people with iron deficiency. Also, RLS/WED in the elderly and children brings other challenges. Sharing your experiences may be extraordinarily helpful to others.
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pregnancy tips?

Post by deborah »

My doctor has just diagnosed my inability to sleep more than 1/2 hour at a time, for the past few months of my pregnancy, as rls. Clearly, medication is out of the question. Does anyone have any other tips or home remedies that have helped in this situation? Even though I have only 2 months left in the pregnancy I am desperate for some help and sleep! Thanks!!

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Pregnancy tips?

Post by Athena »

My RLS started with my first pregnancy - I can relate. My doctor had me take Calcium and it helped. Have been using it ever since (20 years now).
My suggestion: don't drink any pop! makes it worse!
Then, take calcium 1800-2400 mg per night should do the trick. Also, ask your doctor what a safe level of iron is. One pill, or 18 mg, does the trick for me.
And drink lots of water so the above can be absorbed and circulated!
Hope this helps!

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Post by squirmy »

Some people have found home remedies that help. If you look thru past post you might find some suggestions. I find that if I get more exercise during the day, like walking, my RLS is less severe, but I really don't know. I have heard that a hot bath helps some, but cold helps others. Be careful with hot baths though, with the stretched skin from pregnancy, hives could develop. I was anemic during my pregnancies and it also seems to be common with some RLS people. Foods high in iron, like liver and peas, absorb better than supplements, maybe this might help. I am so sorry I can't help more, I tried lots of stuff myself, but really didn't find relief until I got some medicine. If you have the sensations mostly at night, then I hope you can sleep during the day. If you are working during the day, maybe you should consider an early leave of absence to get your sleep. I hope you keep in touch, Tina
RLS, SLE (Lupus) and Asthma

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Post by Sara »


I was pregnant years before I realized I had had RLS my whole life, so I'm not sure if it was any worse when I was pregnant or not. Sorry you're having a rough time.

Some of the home remedies do work well, if your symptoms aren't too severe (though you sound AWFULLY uncomfortable! :( ) , and I know how you feel about not wanting to take any meds if you can help it. I was the same.

Tina's right, if iron helps, iron in food is especially easily utilized. Isn't another good iron source spinach? I remember I replaced all the lettuce in my diet with raw spinach when I was pregnant and I THINK it was so my hubby wouldn't force me to eat LIVER! :x (Iron's of course good for pregnant ladies with or without RLS!) I put raw spinach leaves in my tuna sandwiches, chopped them up in my burritos, ate spinach-based salads. It tastes a little different, but after a while I got really used to it (and I can't STAND any kind of COOKED leaf greens... too slimy for me! :P ) I still use half- spinach in my salads a lot of the time, but my husband dislikes spinach so I don't always use it out of deference to him.

One other thing to sort of double-check in your mind is if you are going to sleep right away when you need to. Obviously, if you're sleeping so little, you're exhausted all the time. But for some people the more tired they get, the worse their RLS gets. I have a moderate case, so I find (and my brother-in-law and son with mild RLS find the same) that if they go to bed right away when they are tired (or when their RLS starts up) they can sleep longer and better than if they stay up to watch a movie or "because it's not bedtime" or somehting like that. Probably it won't help you since you're sleeping so poorly, but for some of us, RLS is a "wake-up call" (to use a poor pun) that it's time to go to bed. The longer I ignore that call, I find, the harder it is to go to sleep at all. Just a thought.

Best of luck to you with both your pregnancy and your RLS!

Sara :D


dead legs

Post by sleepyleg911 »

I know the feeling. I knew something was up during my first pregnancy. I was 20. I drove my husband nuts. :? I spent more time on the couch with my legs tossed over the back, then in my own bed during that 9 months. I tried to get him to understand how I felt...along with my Doctor and Chiropractor. It was to no avail. The best I could tell them, was it felt like I had been in bed for days, and my legs felt dead, but yet I had to move them to be comfy. FYI, they all thought I was crazy. My doc told me I was just looking for a reason to get off work. I just wanted to sleep. :(

Heffalumps in the night

Post by Heffalumps in the night »

My rls drove me crazy while I was pregnant. It was always my first indicator that I was pregnant. Several nights of that in a row and it was time for my husband to pick up an EPT. Fortunately, I rarely have bad nights post-pregnancy.
I didn't know much to do at the time. What did work best for me was to plop down on the couch, turn on a movie channel and focus on that rather than on my legs. My restless legs thought if I wasn't trying to sleep, they didn't have to bother me. If I wrapped my legs around a pillow, even better. If I pretended that I wasn't trying to go to sleep, I could actually fall asleep watching the movie. Eventually I would wake up later and sneak off to bed without telling my rls what was going on. It was never great sleep, but it was better than tossing in the bed. And it was unasked for preparation for the lack of sleep I got when the darling babies arrived.
It was helpful during the first child to sleep in b/c my best sleep was during the sunrise/ breakfast hours. Unfortunately, the second child's pregnancy didn't work as easily b/c the first child expected to get up and eat breakfast before the lunch hour.
A good long body pillow was my new best friend, too. My husband resented its intrusion into our bed, but I found it relaxed my pregnant body so well that I still use it. My husband has one of his own now as well. We also bought one of those sleep number beds during the 2nd pregnancy and I have to say that it kept me from having to change positions as often or from waking up as often which kept me from being as vulnerable as I had been before the new bed to waking up to rls attacks in the middle of the night. I have to say, in all honesty, that the mattress we were sleeping on prior to that, wasn't fit for a dog. So take that with a grain of salt.
Hopefully, you won't have these attacks after the baby is born. You will just have the baby waking you up every couple of hours; but that is much more pleasant!


Pregnant and RLS

Post by Guest »

This is my second pregnancy and I developed RLS half way through the first one. It went away for the most part after I had my daughter and I smugly thought the other day that perhaps I was going to make it through this pregnancy without symptoms... WRONG. Within days of this thought my RLS is so bad I can't sit still at night after about 7pm. I have to pace the room with the TV on trying to gain control of the rapid leg movements. It is especially frustrating when our 2.5 year old is in bed with us post nightmare and just falling alseep... I lie there trying so hard to be still when my legs are screaming to move. To be honest, I almost feel like I am losing my mind. THen in the morning it is gone and stays that way for most of the day. If I am tired, the drive home from work (1 hour) can have me pushing my feet through the floor boards.
Anyhow, thanks for the various tips. No more pop for me, and I am going to speak to my midwife about iron and calcium.

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Post by ksxroads »

Please do not begin any iron therapy without blood tests... too much iron can be harmful. Hope that some of the tips have helped and keep us posted on your progress! Hazel
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation.

Music can be made anywhere, is invisible and does not smell. --W H Auden


preggers and RLS

Post by KP »

I have been experiencing RLS since start of pregnancy, and it just seems to get worse (now about 23wks). I generally get to sleep at about 3am. My partner rubbing my legs used to be quite good if I could fall asleep during it. Now I rarely can. I also have major tingling in my left foot. Soaking my foot in really really hot water helped at the start but makes no difference now. The second the foot leaves the water the tingling returns. But should try it out and see if works for you.

Now my weapon is an exercise bike. I put it on an easy setting and watch telly while cycling. It is worth trying. Occasionally I go flat out - which helps with the frustration. Mind you tho, at 2am when all you want to do is sleep, Its an effort just getting on the thing! I am also starting to wonder if its stimulating my body to stay awake. I have almost given up sleeping in same bed as partner. Instead have a mattress in front of telly so I can stretch heaps and fall asleep b4 body figures it out.

This morning I nearly collided with a car and arrived at work shaking. I think that he didn't indicate, but I drive so tired that I cannot be sure. I hate this. I have declined a contract extension on my job so that I can sleep during the day. What are the chances that this will persist after pregnancy???

Does anyone know of any contacts to find support groups in Australia - (Western Australia)?

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