Pregnant and RLS making it hell!!!

Hi, i'm new to this and writing because once againt i am sat up unable to sleep due to my "twitchy legs" I am currently 29 weeks pregnant with my third baby. I have had RLS with all my pregnancies but it has started earlier and been more frequent with each one! I am lucky if i have one night a week where I am not sat up still 2am, when I think i just get so exhausted a pass out! I live on a farm, i have two children aged 2 and 5 and work a part time job, the lack of sleep is torture! I try to excercise everyday on my cross trainer, I don't drink tea or coffee just water, i don't eat late at night and def no carbs in the evening but nothing seems to work, i am started to get scared this wont go away when the baby is born and i won't be able to cope! I hate sitting up on my own all night its a really lonely sad place!!!!

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  • Hey Maisie, sorry you are having such a bad time of it with the RLS, your diet is clearly well organised, a strategy I find useful now (and when I was pregnant too) is to keep the room as cool as possible, and me as cool as possible in general too! I know several months back, someone sapoke on here about the uses of a Swiss ball? Aka birthing balls, have you tried those? I used one throughout the whole of my pregnancy and although the RLS was a nightmare, it could have been a lot worse than what it was!!! I'm sorry if I'm not much help to you, but the temperature thing might help? Cooling gels for the legs too might help? Hope it gives you some respite soon lovey

    Ellie x

  • thanks for your reply, i was thinking of trying some cool gel pads to put on my legs! will try anything i am so desperate! i had a birthing ball for my other pregnancies i use to sit on it and bounce about found it very comfortable, how did you use it to help your rls???

  • Hi there Maisie, so sorry to hear about your RSL. I have just joined this forum and its the first time i've written. i'm afraid i haven't much to add as i've had RSL for about 10 years now. I have Mirapexin for it and slowly increased dose from 1 to 2, and am trying to keep it as low as I can. Yes, i sympathise with the sitting up alone and exhausted till morning! One other thing i think makes me worse is chocolate and red wine so I have now just cut those out. Also, although I agree generally with not getting too hot, and have always wanted windows open wide while my husband froze, i now have some nights where i feel frozen to the bone and can't get warm. I even can be freezing and hot at the same time!!! (does anyone else have this experience?) i don't know if this is all to do with RSL but I have found that a hot bath before bed warms me through - so that gets me through that. Have you tried propping yourself up in bed so that you are almost sitting? If RSL is mild it might help, but not if your legs are really going for it!!! All the best, anyway, xx

  • Just a few more things to try, you poor thing. When my RLS was bad (before I started taking Ropinirole), as a last resort I would sit in a cold bath - as cold as I could stand. Not pleasant at all but it would usually relieve the jumpiness long enough to get to sleep. I also find a little relief from putting a pillow under my knees if lying on my back or between my knees lying on my side but I'm sure that in your current condition, you've tried these!

    I'm conscious that my RLS seems related to my lower back (doesn't make sense re the dopamine connection but we're all different) as stretching my lower back or having it massaged, does seem to provide some relief.

    I really hope you feel better soon. Try not to panic about it continuing post-natally, it may well not.

    Very best wishes.

  • Hi there. Completely sympathise as been there and got the T shirt myself! So frustrated in pregnancy to be told that nothing could be done about the RLS. I am glad that when I was pregnant, my RLS wasn't as bad as it is now otherwise I wouldn't have been able to manage at all.

    Has anyone checked your ferritin levels? If not, ask your GP to do it as it often drops in preganancy as the baby takes some of the iron that we need. The GP can give you tablets although my GP says that it is hard for the body to absorb iron and store it so he recommends people to eat lean red meat (which includes mince) frequently. The body can absorb it more easily if eaten with Vit c such as a glass of juice. In terms of tackling the RLS at night, in addition to the other comments I'd add

    - wear loose cotton trousers (like pyjama bottoms) at home as much as possible to keep the legs cool.

    - have cotton sheets and blankets on your bed rather than a duvet. A duvet always sets me off regardless of the tog and what it's made of! I sometimes also have a floor standing fan on in the bedroom and aim it at my legs. I turn it on when I get into bed and turn it off just before I fall asleep. That often does the trick.

    - if you have RLS in the night, have a shower even if you don't need one. Not ideal when you're tired but it often works for me - presumably the heat of the water.

    - have a snack in the night. Not good for the waistline but once again, it often works for me.

    - make sure you don't exercise too late in the day. My RLS is a nightmare if I exercise late pm or later or if I exercise too much!

    - it might also be worth using pain relief gel (some are stronger than Deep Heat and don't smell horrible) . You can get them over the counter.

    As for your concern about whether it will continue after you've given birth - in most cases it goes away. For me it continued but I had RLS before I was pregnant. I found breast feeding the baby very hard because once again the body provides for the baby at our expense so iron levels are reduced. Best of luck. Hope some of this helps. x

  • Thanks for all your support, just knowing its not just me sat up all night is a comfort! I'm hoping that once baba is here even with the night feeds i will get more sleep than i do now!! My iron levels are slightly low 11.2 and am on iron supplements so this may be the cause. typically i have gone off all the things that contain lots of iron red meat - green leafy veg, going to have to force myself to eat them i guess (not easy when the thought of them turns your stomach)!!! My other half is working tonight so at least the heating is off!!! fingers crossed i am not back on here at midnight xxx

  • One day at a time...

    Easier said than done...

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