How to Find Relief for Restless Legs During Pregnancy

By Marisa Iallonardo
Reviewed by Alyssa Quimby, M.D.
April 26, 2023

If you experience the symptoms of restless legs syndrome during pregnancy, it could prevent you from getting the sleep you need. Read on for more about the condition—and how you can find relief.

Restless Legs Syndrome and Pregnancy

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is when someone experiences a repeated sensation of needing to move their legs. It may feel like twitching, pulling, jitters, or even like something is crawling on the skin, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “This feeling often presents at night and can interfere with sleep,” Kelley Robrock, M.D., a board-certified ob-gyn at Axia Women’s Health, OB/GYN of Indiana.

Research suggests that pregnant people are two to three times more likely to experience RLS than those who aren’t expecting. “Pregnancy is a risk factor for restless legs syndrome,” explains Robrock. “We believe this may be related to deficient iron and folate levels, hormonal fluctuations, or general swelling that can occur during pregnancy.”