Pregnancy fatigue is an almost inevitable part of being pregnant and may even be the first signs that you are expecting. If you feel run down and tired all the time as though you are working too hard or not getting enough sleep even though your schedule has not changed, you may be experiencing pregnancy fatigue. It is normal, but there are ways to lessen the burden.
Why Do We Experience Pregnancy Fatigue?
Essentially pregnancy fatigue is the result of accelerated growth of the baby within your womb. In the first trimester, for example, you will experience a great deal of fatigue as your body kicks into overdrive. This is why feeling unusually tired can be a sign that you are in fact pregnant. There are plenty of things that your body suddenly has to start doing when you get pregnant that it hasn’t had to cope with before. These things include:
- Helping the baby to grow
- Helping your muscles and joints prepare for birth
- Increasing your blood supply
This is hard work for your body and consequently you may be left feeling that you cannot cope and that you are too tired. After the first trimester your fatigue may lessen as growth becomes steady and no longer accelerated, but it will worsen again in the third trimester for the following reasons:
- Your body will start going into overdrive again
- You will be straining to carry the extra weight of the baby
- You will be having trouble sleeping
- You will not be moving as much as you were in the beginning due to the extra weight
Possible Reasons For Worsened Fatigue
Some women have worse pregnancy fatigue than others. There are a few reasons why this may be the case and they are all well worth looking out for. Medical conditions that tend to worsen during pregnancy are anemia and thyroid problems. If you have these problems, expect greater pregnancy fatigue. If you feel that your fatigue is worse than you expected, have your doctor check you for any medical conditions that may be worsening the situation. In addition you may be getting either too little or too much exercise. Speak with your doctor about the appropriate amount of experiences that you should be doing on a regular basis as this may help you in terms of reducing the amount of pregnancy fatigue that you are experiencing. Last but not least you need to remember that, if you already have other children, you may be experiencing excessive fatigue due to having to take care of them as well as taking care of yourself though your pregnancy, all of which can contribute to feelings of extreme exhaustion. Keep in mind that there often is no specific or solvable reason for fatigue as it is a normal part of pregnancy.
Many women feel nauseous when they are pregnant which may lead them to skip meals. However this is not the best way for dealing with the situation. In fact, in order to fight pregnancy fatigue, you should try to add an additional 300 calories to your diet a day. Remember that the food is no longer just for you but for your baby as well. In order to stay energized you need to have a diet that is rich in the following:
Although there are foods that you should not eat when pregnant, your doctor will provide you with a comprehensive list of what is safe and what should be avoided so that you can get the right nutrients in and thereby lessen your pregnancy fatigue.
Your Body’ Signals
Pregnancy fatigue is your body’s way of pointing out that it needs extra rest now that you are pregnant. It is important that you heed these signals. Once you are pregnant you cannot expect to continue functioning at the same speed or level that you were previously as this is not good for you or your baby. If your body is telling you that it is tired, that means that you need to get more rest and get more sleep. If you feel that there are things that you can no longer handle either at home or at work, find someone else to do those things for you. Most people will understand that you are unable to continue as normal due to your pregnancy, that this is temporary, and that you will be back to normal once you return from maternity leave.
Adjust Your Schedule
It is important that you adjust your schedule in order to get more rest in. some suggestions as to how to do this are:
- Take sick days from work if you are feeling ill or simply too tired
- Offer to work a little on the weekends so that your workload can be stretched out more evenly thereby allowing you to get more rest each day
- If you are a stay-at-home mom organize for your kids to have days out so that you can catch up on some sleep
- See if your employer will allow you to temporarily lessen your workload until you have returned from maternity leave after giving birth
Although in some cases and for some women exercise is a bad idea during pregnancy because of their medical state, it is important that, if your doctor allows it, you do some moderate exercise each day in order to fight pregnancy fatigue. Exercise here could simply be a short walk. Moderate exercise can make you feel a lot better during pregnancy. Another suggestion is doing pregnancy yoga, which s very light exercise. Signing up for classes will motivate you to do exercise more frequently. Exercising:
- Improves circulation throughout your body, making you feel more rested
- Tires you out just enough that you find it easier to sleep when you go to bed
- Has also been shown to generally improve your mood which can be very helpful during pregnancy
Power Naps And Enough Sleep
Power naps simply refer to taking a few minutes when necessary to rest. This could even be done at your office. If you actually fall asleep during these rests, great, but even just lying down for a few minutes and relaxing will help you feel much better with regards to pregnancy fatigue. At home you can try delegating tasks to other family members so that you have a little more time to just lie down for a few minutes. It may seem that we are stating the obvious by telling you to rest more often, but many women ignore this aspect of their health during pregnancy and attempt to continue at the same pace as they did before they fell pregnant. You deserve a break, so take it when you can.
Now that you are pregnant you can no longer be expected to do everything that you did before. In addition, no one expects you to continue working at the same pace as before. Consequently you should enlist the help of those around you with your daily tasks:
- This includes delegating at work and lessening your burden, perhaps even hiring an assistant to help you during your pregnancy who can fill in once you are on maternity leave.
- You could also hire someone to help you at home. If possible this should be someone who can stay on after the baby is born to continue helping around the house.
- You don’t have to pay to have someone help you. Ask family members to assist you during your pregnancy. Have your mom move in or give greater responsibility to your other children of they are old enough to handle it.
If you are feeling unusually tired you need to get more fresh air. We spend most of our time in the same building breathing the same air and this can make us feel tired. Simply going outside and taken a few deep breaths of fresh (or fresher, at least) air will make you feel more vital and alive. It also does not take very much out of your time so you should be able to do it a few times a day without significantly interfering with your daily activities.
If your fatigue continues abnormally, see your doctor and consult about specific interventions that may be necessary in your specific case.
Although the tips mentioned here will not necessarily prevent pregnancy fatigue altogether, they are a good way for you to lessen the burden of feeling tired and exhausted all the time. Pregnancy is a difficult time, but you need to remember that you are not the first women ever to have experienced pregnancy fatigue. Consequently there are many sources of information on the topic that will help you cope. There is also nothing wrong with getting someone to help you during this period of your pregnancy as you will not be able to do everything on your own anymore.