Fatigue During Pregnancy

image001When you become pregnant, it’s a great thing! Time to rejoice! But all that rejoicing feels like it might have to wait, because you are utterly exhausted all the time. Even if you just got up in the morning after a good night’s sleep, all you want is a nap. What causes this fatigue during pregnancy? Is it normal? And will it ever go away?

Is It Normal to Have Fatigue During Pregnancy?

The good news about fatigue during pregnancy is that it’s entirely natural. Many women deal with the sudden fatigue that starts within a few weeks of conception. Though no one knows exactly why pregnancy fatigue happens, there are plenty of theories.

The hormones coursing through your system could very well trigger many changes, including the fatigue that makes you want to sleep all the time. In addition to that, your body is busy creating a higher blood volume and other things for the baby, and that means that you are working overtime. The result can be feeling very tired for no apparent reason.

In addition, keep in mind the things that go along with early pregnancy. Your breasts are probably sore, and that makes you grumpy. You might be vomiting and feeling nauseas, and that alone can make you feel tired. Also, you might be feeling some depression or early baby blues. All those hormones you aren’t accustomed to yet can make you feel very tired, as though you want to sleep half the day away.

How Long Will Fatigue During Pregnancy Last?

Fortunately, there is a finish line to all of this. Fatigue during pregnancy typically goes away after the first trimester, and you feel very much like yourself again. Fatigue during pregnancy might show up again close to the time of birth, because your body is working so hard to help the baby grow – and of course, you are carrying around a lot of extra weight!

How to Deal with Fatigue During Pregnancy

Dealing with fatigue during pregnancy might seem impossible, especially if you have to work or have other obligations to attend to. But there really are ways to work around the bone-crushing fatigue that you might be feeling.

1. Rest

It is important not to fight the fatigue. Your body is telling you that you need more rest, so get some. Take a cat nap during your lunch break, go to bed much earlier at night and get up later, if you can. When you have a free day, spend part of it dozing in bed. The more you rest, the better you will feel.

2. Adjust Schedule

Now is the time to take care of yourself. Change things up to make that happen. Cancel appointments you don’t have to do, let the housework slide, and cut back on your work hours. Take those vacation days if you have them! If you have children at home, ask someone else to watch them every now and then so you can get some shut-eye.

3. Eat Healthy

Focus on a healthy diet that will keep you going. Though it might be tempting to dig into those potato chips or you might be craving ice cream, avoid indulging too much – the healthier you eat, the more energy you will have. Fruits and vegetables are great choices.

4. Hydrate

Don’t let your body become even more tired through dehydration. Drink plenty of water, and avoid caffeine, which can actually dehydrate you. If you are getting up often at night to use the bathroom, start restricting your water intake by around four in the morning in order to have a peaceful night’s rest.

5. Turn to Fruit and Veggie Smoothies

Want an instant boost of energy in the middle of the day? Smoothies can do just that. Fresh fruit or berries with milk and a little honey can give you a boost of healthy sugar that opens your eyes a bit and keeps you awake when you really have to get to that important meeting.

6. Exercise

It might seem counter-intuitive, but exercise really does give you more energy. So get out and move. Keep it simple if you’re too tired; a nice walk around the block will be better than nothing.

7. Get into Yoga

Gentle stretching exercises are great for those who are too tired to get out of the house and exercise on a regular basis. Yoga not only gives you more energy, but it improves flexibility and strength, which will come in handy during labor and delivery. The following video shows you some poses for relaxation:

8. Get a Massage

When you need to ease into sleep, ask your partner for a backrub. This can also be helpful for those who have restless leg syndrome, a condition that is often made worse by pregnancy and can keep you awake at night. A good massage of your back and legs can help you drift away into dreamland.

9. Don’t Be a Martyr

If you need help, ask for it. Let your partner help around the house, allow your friends to pick up the groceries and let your family take care of the kids. Your body is doing the hard work of creating another person, so take it easy on yourself and let others do some work for you.

10. Small Meals Are a Good Idea

Keeping your blood sugar on an even keel will help you feel more energetic, so make that happen with several small meals throughout the day instead of two or three big ones. Look for snacks that have protein and complex carbs, so they keep you going longer.

11. Are You Iron-deficient?

Some women deal with pregnancy-induced anemia, and that lack of iron means that you feel very tired indeed. In addition to fatigue, you may be experiencing shortness of breath, weakness, and even fainting spells. Speak to your doctor to make certain your iron levels are where they should be.

Fatigue during pregnancy is very common. But you can do something about it. Try these tips, and don’t forget to check with your doctor if your fatigue seems to go beyond the norm.