Restless leg syndrome are painful, shooting muscle spasms in your legs. This is a common complaint starting around the middle of a lot of mothers’ pregnancies. It happens because the muscles grow tired from carrying the additional pregnancy weight, then pressure from the uterus can impede blood flow to the legs. Mothers awaken to a knot-like cramp the calf muscles or feet.
What to do during a leg spasm
During the cramp attack, don’t stretch the leg out with toes pointed. Instead, rub the calf and pull the foot up toward you, then hang on to the foot until the pain passes. As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll have to do this sitting down with your legs bent.
How to prevent restless leg syndrome
Improve the circulation and decrease the swelling by:
- Wear support stockings and comfortable shoes during the day
- Avoid standing or sitting for long periods
- Massage feet/calves
- Elevate your legs on a pillow at night and several times throughout the day
- Lie on your left side in the sleeping position
- Drink more water
- Before bedtime, take a warm bath with epsom salt and lavender oil
Restless leg syndrome exercises
Work with the feet and calf muscles first. In a seated position: point and flex the feet with legs extended in front of you. Notice the difference of the two. Rotate the ankles in both directions. Drawing circles with the toes.
Yoga flow for restless leg syndrome
Starting in down dog, float into Warrior One, then transition into a standing wide forward fold. Shift your weight into Warrior One on the other leg, then end in down dog. Practice that flow until the movement becomes fluid and natural in your body.
Relief from restless leg syndrome with leg massages
Use ¼ tsp of leg cramp massage oil (recipe below) every night for a week, then repeat as needed.
Leg cramp massage oil recipe
- 1 ½ Tbps of almond oil, 2 drops of lavender and 2 drops of geranium
- 1 ½ Tbps of almond oil, 2 drops of lavender and 2 drops of lemon
Lavender essential oil eases muscular aches and pains. Particularly during pregnancy to sooth aching backs, legs, and ligaments. It’s used to treat all muscular aches and pains, even acute pain.
How to treat restless leg syndrome with foods
- Increase intake of foods rich in minerals, such as sea vegetables, dark leafy greens, yogurt, milk, nuts, and seeds (especially sesame seeds).
- Try a calcium-magnesium supplements if it’s extreme. The ratio should be two to one of calcium to magnesium.
- Foods high in potassium: bananas, dried apricots, beets, cantaloupes, lima beans, winter squash, spinach, and raisins.
- Right before bed, eat a banana or drink a glass of OJ
When to proceed with caution with restless leg syndrome
Persistent leg pain with local heat, redness, and swelling can be from phlebitis (inflammation of veins) or deep vein thrombosis blood clots. Contact healthcare provider in this case.