Skip, hopping and jumping through the night
Here’s a take on Restless legs in pregnancy from mum of two Liz
There are loads of ‘side effects’ of pregnancy. Some good, thick glossy hair… erm…erm… you know what I’m sorry but I’m at bit of a loss to any others. Don’t get me wrong I was overjoyed to be pregnant and generally healthy but my goodness I found pregnancy a slog! During my first pregnancy I kept waiting for the delightful glow but ended up with bloat, indigestion, eye cysts (yes really!!), swollen ankles and restless legs. Blossoming I was not! The worst of them undoubtedly was the restless legs. About 1 in 5 women suffer from the condition, normally in the last 3 months of pregnancy and I was most definitely one of them. Every evening from about 7pm that was me until the early hours of the morning, luckily not for the whole of the night as otherwise I don’t know how I would have coped.
Restless legs are defined by the NHS as ‘a common condition of the nervous system that causes an overwhelming, irresistible urge to move the legs.’ For me it was more of a creeping crawling sensation, not itching but uncomfortable and unbearable discomfort that was constant for about 5 hours a day. I spent many exhausted moments having a little cry when it all became too much.
There are suggested remedies to help alleviate the symptoms such as quinine that is in tonic water and it has been suggested some instances are due to an iron deficiency, so if you do suffer get it checked out by your doctor. I found having my legs elevated helped and spent evenings on the sofa with my legs bouncing on my exercise ball was at least a bit more comfortable.
Unfortunately nothing I tried got rid of it except the birth of my beautiful baby. Like the pain of childbirth the uncomfortable, infuriating, agonisingly, irritating restless leg sensation was soon forgotten as I juggled all the experiences of a newborn. It stayed that way until about month 5 of my second pregnancy which turned out to be the time to get that exercise ball out and look forward to my second baby’s birth just the little bit more.