Asleep On Your Feet: Pregnancy Fatigue

Oh Happy Day, I'm So Tired: Pregnancy Tiredness

The body goes through so many changes when a woman becomes pregnant. Hormones are wonky and many women suffer with nausea and vomiting-especially in the first trimester. During those early days, it is sometimes difficult to focus on the joy that lies before you as you rock and roll from vomiting to exhaustion.

The constant feeling of fatigue in the first trimester is attributed to a dramatic rise in progesterone and if you couple the hormone reaction to frequent trips to the bathroom through the night, a good night's sleep feels very elusive. It is little wonder a woman feels like she has run the Boston Marathon during the first few weeks of her pregnancy.

Pregnancy fatigue usually tapers off at the end of the first trimester but it can show up again in the last three months of pregnancy. The weight gain, difficulties sleeping well due to leg cramps, heartburn, backache and an active baby putting pressure on the bladder, all add up to fatigue.

When Pregnancy Fatigue Is A Concern

If fatigue continues past the first trimester and well into the second, a visit to the doctor is advised. It is important to rule out any underlying causes for feeling tired, such as anemia, or depression. Both conditions are treatable. Anemia can be addressed with iron supplements and dietary changes. Depression or anxiety can be best treated by a mental health professional.

Ways To Cope With Pregnancy Fatigue

In order to cope effectively with fatigue it is important to pay attention to the body's signals. Go to bed earlier than usual. A 15-minute snooze during the day helps immensely to keep energy levels up. It is possible to grab a little shut-eye during work by simply closing the office door and turning off the light while you put your head down on the desk for a few minutes. If there's a lounge, perhaps a nap there would work, or even the back seat of your car can be a secure place for a quick nap to replenish your energy.

Revamping your schedule during the first trimester by cutting out unnecessary social commitments and closing your eyes to the housework for a while, are both ways to store energy. It may be possible to adjust work hours to shorter days or times to work at home. An occasional "vacation day" during the week is another way to take care of yourself. If you are a stay-at-home mom, let someone take the kids for a few hours while you rest. Don't push away help when it is offered.

Of Course, Diet And Exercise in Pregnancy Are Excellent Energizers

A good diet of veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean meat, and low-fat dairy can be energizing. Junk food saps energy, so make sure your snacks are healthy ones. Lots of water and less caffeine are good ways to keep you perky as well. Add some exercise to the mix and you will definitely feel better. Even though you may think you cannot possibly get the energy to walk up a flight of stairs, it is proven that moderate activity can actually increase energy. A time out for stretching and deep breathing gives you an added sense of well being and energy as well.

Don't let it get you down. You'll be a new mom before you know it - so take as much time as possible to stock up on your sleep before the baby comes.

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