Pregnancy tiredness: All you need to know to beat it
If you are wondering what pregnancy fatigue feels like, this article is just what you need. Pregnant women might struggle to stay awake throughout the day. They might struggle to wake up in the morning and might eagerly wait to get back into their beds at night. It is quite common to feel tired or exhausted during early pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks, because of the hormonal havoc that causes nausea, exhaustion and mood swings.
The solution to it is to take as much rest as you can. Just sit down with your feet up during the day and accept any help that you get, especially if you are experiencing pregnancy fatigue at work. Make sure you look after yourself by eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated and getting sufficient sleep.
Tiredness doesn’t harm your baby in any way but can make life difficult for you, especially during early pregnancy.
Lack of sleep in pregnancy: How to manage
Your baby will not be harmed if you cannot sleep. Just try napping during the day or whenever you feel sleepy to deal with extreme tiredness in early pregnancy. Avoid tea, coffee or cola drinks in the evening, as they have caffeine, which can make it harder for you to go to sleep. Try using some relaxation techniques before bedtime. You can even join an antenatal yoga or sign up for pilates. Exercise will also help you feel less tired, so go for a walk or swim when you feel like it.
If you get strange dreams or nightmares about your baby, birth and labour, talk to your partner or doctor. Relaxation and breathing techniques might also help calm you down. Sleeplessness along with other symptoms may be a sign of depression. If you do have other symptoms like feeling hopeless, losing interest in the things that you used to enjoy, then its best to seek help.
Fatigue is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy and sometimes can be evident throughout the nine months. During the first trimester, it is mostly due to the hormones, and so, you will get back your energy in your second trimester, but not for long.
You will feel pretty exhausted again in the last three months of your pregnancy. The extra stress, your growing bump and frequent visits to the washroom can cause sleeplessness. Sometimes, fatigue in pregnancy can be due to anaemia, infection, or the chronic fatigue syndrome. Fibromyalgia, gestational diabetes, underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) and depression might be other causes. If it is so, then treatment of the condition can get your energy back.
Extreme tiredness in early pregnancy
During the first trimester, since your body is producing more blood to provide nutrients for your growing baby, your blood pressure and blood sugar might be lower than normal. Increased progesterone levels also make you feel more sleepy. There might be feelings of anxiety during early pregnancy about the whole process, also leading to physical exhaustion.
Tiredness during pregnancy (second trimester):
The second trimester is called the happy trimester as you get your energy back and can be your normal self. Try getting as much work done as possible during this time as exhaustion will be back in your third trimester. But there are women who do experience fatigue in this trimester too, even though it is less obvious.
Tiredness during pregnancy (third trimester):
The extra weight of your baby and frequent urination are the two main causes of tiredness in the late phase of pregnancy. In the third trimester, you also have to deal with the increase in your blood volume, amniotic fluid and placenta. Sleeplessness adds on to your exhaustion.
Ways to combat pregnancy fatigue
Avoid drinking fluids some hours before bedtime, so that you don’t feel the urge to urinate too often during the night.
Eating balanced meals with enough protein, iron and calories, will help a lot in sustaining your energy levels. Staying hydrated is also very important.
If you have other kids at home, get them to help you and indulge in quiet activities like solving puzzles, reading, etc.
To keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable, do not skip meals. Have small and frequent meals packed with complex carbohydrates and protein. Grab a healthy snack like chickpeas instead of chips as it has more fibre that will provide you with more satiety.
Get as much rest as you can during your pregnancy since post birth, sleep is likely to become a luxury. Your night-time sleep may not be peaceful due to a full bladder or other pregnancy discomforts. So, try and take naps during the day.
Get help with your daily chores by hiring a cook or requesting a family member to share the load. You can even ask your partner to run errands for you.
Sleeping on the left side will take the pressure off from the blood vessels that nourish your baby and will make you more comfortable. Tucking a pillow between your legs will help your sore back. Take a warm bath or ask your partner for a massage during bedtime.
The most recommended and safest position to go to sleep is either on your left or right side. Sleeping on your back after 28 weeks can double the risk of stillbirth as it may cut the flow of blood and oxygen to your baby. However, if you do wake up on your back, then just turn to your side and go back to sleep.
Remember your body makes lot of adjustments and produces special hormones to support the developing baby. The whole process of supporting your own life and another one might take a toll on your body and make you tired. Nausea and vomiting can also add on to the tiredness. Dehydration or lack of food can make you tired too. So, take it one day at a time. Fatigue won’t last forever; it’s just nine months. However, if it is impacting your daily routine severely, consult your doctor for suggestions to get your energy back.