Tiredness, exhaustion, and fatigue are all very common for women to experience during pregnancy. The experience of fatigue varies from person to person, but it is generally true that you will feel more tired during pregnancy than you were before. The trend between most women is that fatigue is present in the first trimester of pregnancy, is less common during the second, and comes back the same or stronger as the first trimester during the third.
What causes fatigue?
The way pregnancy affects your body changes significantly between the beginning and your due date. This means the stage of pregnancy you are on changes the reason for you fatigue.
Changing hormone levels are the predominant cause of fatigue in the first trimester. This and a variety of other physical changes in the body are why you are likely to experience exhaustion while pregnant. The body produces more blood to deliver more nutrients to your baby, and your blood sugar and blood pressure levels decrease significantly. The body is also building an organ called the placenta during the first trimester. The placenta is an organ responsible for supplying your baby with oxygen and nutrients, and building it can be tasking on the body. Additionally, pregnancy hormones such as progesterone can be directly responsible for causing fatigue and sleepiness.
As well as the physical changes, emotional changes can also contribute to fatigue during pregnancy. Not only can hormones affect your emotions, it is important to keep in mind that pregnancy is a significant event in one’s life. This fact makes it natural to be concerned over your baby’s health or even having second doubts about your pregnancy. These emotions can all have a bearing on your physical wellbeing, including your energy level.
The second trimester tends to be the least likely to bring about fatigue and exhaustion, and it is common for women to report that their energy level is comparable to how it was before they became pregnant. On the other hand, it is not guaranteed that fatigue cannot continue through the second trimester, and it is still possible to have symptoms of tiredness during this time.
It is likely that fatigue will return or worsen during the third trimester. This is mainly due to the added weight you are now carrying around due to your growing baby bump, and living regular day to day life becomes much more tasking. Fatigue during the third trimester can also be due to a plethora of other effects of pregnancy on the body, such as heartburn, back pain, and just the stress of expecting a baby.
Tips for relieving tiredness
Fatigue during pregnancy can be a challenge to manage, but there are some ways that you can help your body get the rest it needs while still maintaining a regularly normal day-to-day routine.
Pregnancy is tasking on your body, and it is important to adjust your daily life to give your body the time that it needs to account for your baby’s growth, and the physical and emotional changes that it causes.
You can get more rest and reduce the amount of energy you spend with simple lifestyle changes. These include taking naps, going to bed earlier, and asking for help.
Maintaining a good diet is crucial to minimizing fatigue during pregnancy. Understanding what kind and quantity of food will help you feel like your best self is not a simple task.
Try to eat foods that are high in nutrients and will help you maintain long lasting energy throughout the day. Eating foods high in protein and carbs will help you achieve better nutrition.
Eat a lot of calories. This will give you more energy during the day and reduce tiredness. Increase how much food you eat and try to pick calorie-dense, nutritious food.
Avoid foods high in caffeine or sugar as they are will cause a crash.
Fatigue makes staying active difficult, but a little bit of the right kind of exercise will be more energizing than sitting around.
Try light forms of exercise such as going on hikes or walks, yoga, etc. This will energize you more during the day and give you better rest at night. Keep in mind that your limits during pregnancy will be different than before. Listen to your body to balance the right amount of rest and activity to feel the best.
For more guidance on pre-natal and post-partum health, contact one of our experts.