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Leg Cramps And Restless Legs During Pregnancy: Everything You Need To Know

Written by Caroline Chou


Posted on October 02 2023

The journey into motherhood isn't easy. Pregnant women experience various symptoms throughout their pregnancy. While some symptoms and conditions are common, others are unique to each pregnant woman.

For instance, during pregnancy, about 30% of women experience leg cramps, and 26% are affected by restless legs syndrome. However, leg cramps and restless legs syndrome are not limited to pregnancy — men and children can also be affected.

Here's all you need to know about leg cramps and restless legs during pregnancy. We also give you some remedies to the condition to help you get quality sleep throughout your pregnancy.

What is restless legs syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a common nervous system condition that creates an excessive irresistible urge to move your legs. Women are twice more likely to be affected by RLS than men, with 10-34% of pregnant women experiencing the condition.

RLS is characterized by an unpleasant feeling in the legs that worsens at night (during bedtime) and causes an overwhelming desire to move your legs. 

However, RLS can strike anytime (even during the daytime) when sitting or lying down. Most pregnant women experience leg cramps and restless legs syndrome during the third trimester of their pregnancy.

Causes of leg cramps and RLS

Researchers are yet to identify the exact cause of RLS and leg cramps, although more research is still underway. Genetics is a probable factor that still needs more research. 

Moreover, various theories exist about the causes of leg cramps and RLS, especially in pregnant women. For instance, dietary and environmental factors like iron and folate deficiency have been linked to RLS.

Also, anxiety, depression, stress, and a lack of sleep during pregnancy may trigger RLS and leg cramps.

How to minimize or eliminate RLS symptoms

Get enough iron and folic acid

Iron deficiency is a probable cause of RLS during pregnancy. Therefore, getting enough iron and folic acid is essential to prevent leg cramps and RLS symptoms. Ideally, pregnant women need about 3-4 times more iron and 6 times more folic acid.

Low or moderate-intensity exercises

Regular physical activity like walking can help minimize or prevent leg cramps and restless legs syndrome. So try to move around your house or compound during the day and evening.

Get a massage

Massaging your legs can help alleviate RLS symptoms. You can do it yourself or go to a professional massage therapist. In addition, massaging your calves provides deeper stimulation to your muscles.  

Benefits of using magnesium lotion to alleviate RLS symptoms

If you're struggling with RLS at night and have tried all other remedies without success, you haven't tried magnesium lotion. There are various magnesium lotions specially formulated to meet particular needs. 

Magnesium lotions support normal bone and muscle health, especially when applied before or after exercising. The lotions also hydrate and moisturize your skin, giving it a healthy glow. 

Moreover, magnesium lotions can aid sleep. This is crucial, especially for pregnant women experiencing leg cramps and restless legs syndrome. The lotion slows sensory activity and quietens the mind for a better night's sleep.

Magnesium lotion combines the benefits of magnesium and other ingredients to help you alleviate RLS symptoms. What's more, the lotion absorbs quickly into your skin, preparing you for a quality night's sleep. Applying magnesium lotion to your body is easy — avoid contact with the eyes.


Although restless legs syndrome can affect everyone, women are more likely to experience it, especially during pregnancy. The condition is characterized by an overwhelming urge to move the legs, often at night. You can relieve symptoms by getting enough iron and folic acid, being active, and massaging. 

Moreover, you can use magnesium lotion to relax tired muscles, slow sensory activity, and quieten the mind for better sleep. 

So if you're experiencing restless legs syndrome during pregnancy, get magnesium-infused lotion today.