Fatigue is one of the first signs of pregnancy. This is no surprise because a growing baby can take a serious toll on the body. It’s almost as if a spell of constant tiredness and sleepiness was cast on you the day your pregnancy test came back positive!
All you really want is some extra hours of sleep.
This is absolutely normal and should be expected. Most women say they experience the most fatigue during their first and third trimesters.
Why are you so tired? How long is this fatigue going to last? And How can you deal with it?
Read on to find out.
Why Am I So Tired?
The answer is simple, you feel tired because you are growing a baby.
Oh yes, that’s more than enough to make you always feel like you’ve just been run over by a truck.
There is another culprit though, and I’m certain you already know what it is…hormones!
Fluctuating hormones cause physical and emotional changes that can leave you feeling low in spirits and exhausted. From as early as conception, these hormones affect your body, mood, metabolism, brain, physical appearance, and sleep pattern. These hormones have you going from morning sickness to body pain to lack of sleep and a whole bunch of other unpleasant things.
Let’s just put it out there, pregnancy is bound to make your tired…tired.
How To Deal With Pregnancy Fatigue
As your baby grows and your body changes, you are bound to be hit by waves of fatigue. Here are some tips to help you deal with this unwelcome tiredness;
1. Get Enough Sleep
Your body needs as much sleep as it can get. It is recommended that pregnant women get at least 8hours of sleep every night. You can do this by cutting out late night movies and screen time. Going to bed earlier is also a good strategy.
Ensure your room is conducive enough for optimal sleep. Make sure your bed is free of clutter, your windows are open and your room is cool and quiet. You could also take short naps during the day. This will help make up for lost sleep at night or bouts of fatigue that come particularly after a meal.
2. Eat Healthy
Your body is nursing another human. Therefore, not getting enough food can easily leave you feeling tired and drained. So you need to eat not just for yourself, but for your growing baby too. Try eating small, frequent small meals.
You also need to make sure that your meals are nutritious and high in protein, vitamins and minerals. You can do this by eating a lot of fruits and leafy greens. Also include proteins like meat, fish, or egg in your diet.
3. Stay Hydrated
This is also another important tip to combat fatigue.
Dehydration will leave your body very tired, so ensure you drink lots of water and fluids during the day.
4. Avoid Caffeine
Skip the coffee, especially after lunchtime.
Caffeine will only keep you up long into the night or cause you to wake up more frequently at night. Besides, irregular sleep is the last thing you want to deal with while managing fatigue in pregnancy.
It can also make your baby hyperactive…kicking and rolling around in your tummy as you try to grasp unto precious sleep.
5. Pamper Yourself
Dear Mama, we know you are strong and all, but please take a break. Take out time to relax. A warm bath will do you a lot of good. So will a massage or foot rub.
Ask your family and friends to help you if needed. Allow yourself to stay at home in loose, comfy clothes doing something you enjoy like reading a book or watching a movie. Pamper yourself and allow yourself to be pampered. You deserve it.
You need to stay active. Moderate exercise during pregnancy has many benefits like reduced back pain, reduced bloating and renewed energy levels. There are many exercise options you can choose from like yoga, walking, pelvic exercises, e.t.c. Remember to always check with your doctor regardless of the exercise program you choose.
When to Call Your Doctor
You should call your doctor if you think your tiredness is a sign of something (anemia, gestational diabetes, depression. e.t.c):
You are aware of you heartbeat and appear pale
You notice extreme appetite changes ( a reduction or increase)
Notice changes in your vision
Develop shortness of breath or heart palpitations
Feel pain in your upper abdomen
Suffer from severe headaches
Notice your hands, ankles, and feet become swollen
A Final Note
Pregnancy is going to take a toll on your body and the nine months can be a tiring experience. However, handling fatigue in pregnancy is not such a diffuclt task. Rest when you need to, get enough sleep and drink a lot of water. Ensure you have a support system to take care of your chores and commitment so you can easily do so.
And remember..you are not alone.
- Hashmi AM, et al. (2016). Insomnia during pregnancy: Diagnosis and rational interventions.
- Physical activity and exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. (2015).
- Servey J, et al. (2014). Over-the-Counter medications in pregnancy.