Are you of not having enough energy during your pregnancy? You are not alone. Tiredness and fatigue during pregnancy is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. You need to understand that your body is undergoing through big changes, and that takes a toll on your body.
If your fatigue persists through the second trimester, you are one of the unlucky ladies out there. Usually, fatigue starts in the first trimester, goes away briefly during the second trimester, and then comes back with a vengeance during the third trimester.
There are a number of causes why you feel tired during your pregnancy. For starters, anemia, gestational diabetes, and low thyroid function all play a role in extreme tiredness during pregnancy. All of these conditions require a doctor’s attention.
But most importantly, your body is going through hormonal changes. You need to understand that not all women go through the same symptoms. Fatigue and tiredness can vary from one woman to another. But it is common for all women and expecting mothers to feel more tired than usual during their pregnancy.
Fatigue during the first trimester
In the early stages of pregnancy, the main causes of your fatigue are hormonal changes. Your body produces more blood in order to carry nutrients to the growing baby. Your body is preparing for the baby, and this is the period when the placenta grows.
During the first trimester, blood sugar and blood pressure levels are also lower, and hormones like progesterone are making you feel sleepy.
In addition to all the physical changes in your body, you are also experiencing emotional changes. No matter whether the pregnancy was planned or not, it is normal for future mothers to experience anxiety about their upcoming motherhood.
You worry about the baby’s health, and you might even experience conflicting feelings about your pregnancy.
All of these factors play a role in your fatigue. And it is quite normal to feel tired during the early stages of pregnancy. It is just part of the process.
Fatigue during the second trimester
There is a good chance that your energy levels will increase from the fourth to the sixth month. The second trimester is popularly called “The Happy Trimester”. Many women experience the brief boost of their energy levels, and they try to take advantage of this period to accomplish important tasks.
For most women, the energy levels rise during the second trimester. However, do not be alarmed if during this period you still experience fatigue. And be ready, you will feel your energy going down again during the third trimester. The good news is that fatigue during the second trimester is less obvious, but still possible.
Fatigue during the third trimester
As you near the end of your pregnancy, fatigue will come back again. However, this time, the cause of fatigue during pregnancy is different.
At this point of your pregnancy, you are carrying extra weight due to the baby in your stomach. You might go through insomnia periods, and have troubles sleeping.
You will also deal with frequent urination, and all those physical and emotional reasons will result in fatigue. With that in mind, what are some things you can do in order to cope with fatigue better?
This is a no-brainer. It might be frustrating, and you will feel frustrated with your body’s demands for more rest. But there is nothing you can do.
Simply put, you cannot talk your body out of it. The fact of the matter is that your body needs more rest in order to perform the big task of growing a baby in your stomach.
One way you can get more rest is to go to bed earlier and try to catch a nap during the day. For those working in an office, try napping during lunch hour.
To do that, bring your own lunch from home, or ask someone to grab something for you. You can spend the noon catching a quick snooze at the desk or in an unused conference room. Once you get back home, get your children(if you have) engaged in an activity so that you get a quick break. Having someone watch over the kids is always a good option as well.
What about exercise
Most women and mothers that have gone through pregnancy will tell you that catching a quick nap and getting some rest is more important than some exercise during the first trimester. After all, morning sickness is all the cardio exercise you will get and need in the first few months. Morning sickness already burns enough calories.
However, it doesn’t hurt to get some light and low-level intensity workout during the second trimester. This will help you increase your energy. Try enrolling in an exercise class for pregnant women, or make it a priority to walk for 20-30 minutes per day. That is more than enough exercise for you.
Adjust your schedule
During your pregnancy, you might find that your current commitments and activities are too draining for your body. If that is the case, the simple solution is to temporarily adjust your schedule. You need to make yourself less busy. Cut back at hours at work, and if possible, ask your friends and family to assist you with housework.
Get more frequent meals
One of the keys in keeping your energy levels high during pregnancy is keeping blood sugar at optimal levels. And that is a difficult and challenging task. Morning sickness, for example, is caused by low blood sugar.
In order to keep your blood sugar steady, and your energy high, you need to eat frequent and small meals and snacks during the day. Combine carbs and proteins, as the mixture will prevent blood sugar spikes and drops.
Here are some ideas:
- Whole grain crackers or bread with cheese or nut butter
- Sliced meat and a piece of fruit
- Egg and whole-grain toast
Consume frequent meals to keep your morning sickness away. A good idea is to grab a bite in the evening if you wake up to go to the bathroom. Yes, you will urinate in the evening often, and a small bite can be the difference between morning sickness or no sickness.
Follow a healthy diet
This one is probably the hardest challenge of them all. Following a healthy diet during pregnancy is a difficult task. Many women find themselves craving for unhealthy foods like burger, French fries, ice cream, and much more during pregnancy. Simply put, when you want something, you must have it. And it is even more emphasized during pregnancy.
We talked how important it is to eat small and frequent meals during the day. Make sure they are also healthy meals. A good and healthy diet will provide an energy boost to everyone, and the positive effects are even more noticeable during pregnancy.