Tired Legs During Pregnancy

by Piper Li

While pregnancy is a time of anticipation and excitement for expectant mothers, it can also be a time of physical discomfort. Common pregnancy complaints include nausea, backache and tired, achy legs. Notify your doctor if your tired legs interfere with your usual activities, or if you experience any unusual symptoms during your pregnancy.

Symptoms

BabyCentre warns that your leg muscles may seize up in cramps, especially when you are in your second and third trimester. Your legs can feel tired, uncomfortable and achy. The uncomfortable sensations may make you want to move your legs, even during sleep.

Causes Due to Pregnancy

As your pregnancy progresses, the weight of your growing baby and your expanding abdomen can create excess pressure on your back and legs, making them tired. During pregnancy, additional amounts of the hormone progesterone may affect the muscle tone in your legs as well.

According to Mayo Clinic, pregnancy can also increase your chances of experiencing a condition known as restless leg syndrome. Although restless legs can occur at any time, the hormonal changes during pregnancy can temporarily make your symptoms worse. In some women, symptoms don't appear until pregnancy and quickly disappear after delivery.

Other Causes

Tired legs can have various causes unrelated to your pregnancy. Peripheral neuropathy, a serious condition that causes damage to the nerves in your hands and feet can cause unpleasant sensations in your calves and thighs. Other conditions that can make your legs feel restless, tired and achy include iron deficiency and even kidney failure.

Prevention

To help prevent tired legs, get adequate rest, especially during the latter part of your pregnancy. Health Guidance recommends using a pillow or cushion to elevate your legs when you sit or lie down. BabyCentre advises that if cramping occurs in your tired legs, you may have a shortage of calcium and magnesium circulating in your blood. Eating a well-balanced diet can help you avoid nutritional deficiencies. Although you shouldn't take supplements during pregnancy without your doctor's advice, drinking plenty of liquids, stretching your leg muscles and taking a warm bath before bed may help ease your symptoms, according to BabyCentre.

Precautions

Since tired legs may be a symptom of an underlying disorder, it is important to notify your doctor if your symptoms worsen or persist. Your doctor may want to rule out serious conditions, such as kidney failure and lumbar spinal canal stenosis, a condition that causes narrowing of the bones and tissues that surround your spinal column.

About the Author

Piper Li, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear online at Biz Mojo, Walden University and various other websites. She is the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." With a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mesa State, Li enjoys writing about health, horticulture and business management.

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