Fatigue During Pregnancy – Is What I’m Feeling Normal?
Feeling exhausted or tired is a common symptom occurring early in a pregnancy or several weeks before birth. However, fatigue is not always related to the hormonal changes during pregnancy. Thus, it is important to be mindful about this feeling and report anything unusual to your health care provider.
Some pregnant women actually become extremely tired or fatigued during the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy. Fatigue during pregnancy can exhibit as a never ending as well as unrelenting feeling that you cannot find the energy to do all the things that you want to do. You may sleep for 12 hours but you still feel tired and lethargic when you get up.
As the body adjusts to the metabolic changes that are necessary to accommodate the growing baby in your womb, the tiredness that you may feel will subside and replaced by renewed energy and vigor. When you feel tired, it is important to rest whenever you can. You should listen to your body when you feel the need the slow down. It is best for you to take a rest and lie down and possibly have early nights.
What Causes Fatigue during Pregnancy?
During the first few weeks of a pregnancy, a great deal of energy is spent and used up to build a life support system for your child. In addition, your body’s metabolism will increase significantly while your blood pressure as well as your blood sugar levels decreases. Another reason why you are easily tired when you are pregnant is the mood swings you are experiencing. The emotional roller coaster ride associated with pregnancy can actually become rather exhausting.
By the end of the first trimester, however, your body will become used to the changes brought about by the growing baby, the hormonal changes, and the emotional changes. This means that the second trimester will already be a time of renewed energy. However, you should take note that fatigue can return in the third trimester, as your growing baby will put more demand on your body. The third trimester will also be a time when sleep becomes more elusive as you cope with additional pregnancy symptoms like more intense heartburn, back pains, and restless leg syndrome.
How Long Will This Feeling Last?
The length of time that this pregnancy symptom will last is different for everyone. However, in most cases, pregnant women will feel a boost in their energy levels during the second trimester. Moreover, the same feeling will return once your reach the third trimester. During the third trimester, you will be carrying more weight and will have trouble sleeping due to several reasons like leg cramps, backaches, frequent urinations and heartburn. All these symptoms can contribute to increase fatigability during the third trimester.
How to Cope with Fatigue while Pregnant?
Fatigue early in pregnancy is common and normal, as your body to the changes brought about by the pregnancy. There is actually very little thing that you can do about this other than change your lifestyle and make sure that you schedule in little activity every day.
One way to cope with fatigue early in pregnancy is to make sure that you get adequate rest and sleep. Moreover, naps are now considered a must. You have to make time for rest to make sure that you will become less tired most times in a day. In addition, you should also make sure that you eat well, as this symptom can actually be aggravated by low blood sugar and iron deficiency. You should also avoid caffeine and snacks with high sugar content. While these foods and drinks may give you a temporary boost, they will eventually deplete your body’s energy throughout the day. Gentle and pregnancy appropriate exercises are also ideal as they can make you feel better and more energized.
You have to listen to your body as well. Whenever you feel tired, you have to make time for rest. When you are feeling tired, you should not hesitate to ask for help. You should let your partner know exactly how tired you are. This way, he can do his fair share in your household chores.
Eating healthy is not enough; as you need to make sure that you eat small frequent feedings. You can time your meals with snacks in between. With small frequent feedings, you can keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. You should avoid skipping meals as well. You should also keep yourself well hydrated. However, you have to make sure that you drink plenty of water and not caffeinated drinks. However, if frequent urination keeps you up at night, you should cut back on your fluid intake several hours before bedtime.
It is important that you try to adjust your schedule accordingly. You should consider cutting back on unnecessary social commitments. If you are working in different shifts, you should consider asking for a fixed schedule so you will not easily become tired. If you are working in an office, you should give yourself a break every now and then so you can effectively manage your daily activities without aggravating this symptom of pregnancy.
When Should You Call Your Health Care Provider?
While fatigue is fairly common during the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, there are some cases that warrant a visit to your health care provider. For instance, if your fatigue is persistent and severe, you should tell your health care provider. You should also watch out for additional symptoms that may accompany fatigability during pregnancy like fainting spells, breathlessness, and weakness, as these symptoms may be associated with other serious health conditions. Moreover, if you are feeling sad or experiencing changes in your appetite, you should speak with your health care provider as you may be experiencing prenatal depression. This pregnancy complication can be managed effectively and treated. You should speak with your health care provider about this so proper intervention can be initiated right away.