Jennifer G. Hensley, CNM, WHNP-BC, LCCE, EdD, is a certified nurse-midwife and board-certified women's health care nurse practitioner. She is the coordinator of the Nurse-Midwifery Master's Option in the College of Nursing at the University of Colorado Denver, Denver CO.
Leg Cramps and Restless Legs Syndrome During Pregnancy
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2009 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 54, Issue 3, pages 211–218, May-June 2009
How to Cite
Hensley, J. G. (2009), Leg Cramps and Restless Legs Syndrome During Pregnancy. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 54: 211–218. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2009.01.003
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
- sleep disturbance;
- leg cramps;
- restless legs syndrome
Sleep disturbance during pregnancy can result in excessive daytime sleepiness, diminished daytime performance, inability to concentrate, irritability, and the potential for an increased length of labor and increased risk of operative birth. Sleep disturbance may be the result of a sleep disorder, such as leg cramps, a common yet benign disorder, or restless legs syndrome, a sensorimotor disorder. Both disrupt sleep, are distressing to the pregnant woman, and mimic one another and other serious disorders. During pregnancy, up to 30% of women can be affected by leg cramps, and up to 26% can be affected by restless legs syndrome.