You have finally had the positive result you were waiting for! Congratulations you are now in your first trimester of pregnancy!
Then WHAM! Like a wave at high tide, it hits you. Pregnancy Fatigue!
Where it is completely normal to feel exhausted in early pregnancy it can rear its ugly head again in the third trimester. This article will help you understand why you are feeling so unbelievably tired all the time and ways to help you boost your energy levels.
In this article
What Is Pregnancy Fatigue?
Pregnancy Fatigue is quite plainly tiredness during pregnancy. The last time you checked you were feeling normal and quiet with it but now your body is growing another human. Just the phrase sounds tiring, right?
Your body is going through a huge amount of different processes during this first trimester and we are here to help you understand exactly why.
How Long Does It Last?
One of the common symptoms of early pregnancy is tiredness. You may feel great one day than not be able to drag yourself out of bed another day. Or you may just feel like a permanent sloth all day.
Usually, you start to regain normal energy levels after the hard work has begun in the first trimester so heading into the second and third trimesters should be a breeze where fatigue is concerned … think again!
Pregnancy energy levels tend to drop again in the third trimester but let’s try to understand why?
Why Are Women Tired During Pregnancy?
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Nobody realizes the massive changes going on inside a woman’s body during early pregnancy.
You may not have a growing belly bump yet but I can assure you your body is working harder than it has ever done before. It’s a little like running a marathon without training first.
There is a surge of hormones that are pinging around your body to help support the development of your growing baby.
The hormone responsible for sleepiness is called Progesterone. It allows your body to increase its blood flow in order to carry nutrients to your growing bundle.
Not only have you got to deal with hormonal changes which can lead you on an emotional rollercoaster but your body is working tirelessly to create the placenta.
This organ is built especially for pregnancy, it takes on the role of delivering nutrients and helps your baby to develop during the 40 weeks.
Pretty impressive stuff right?
Your body is now starting to make this organ from scratch, that’s right your body is reproducing cells and creating the perfect little home for your impending arrival.
Other physical changes your body is dealing with are morning sickness, faster metabolism, faster heart rate, lower blood pressure, and blood sugar, stress, anxiety, disturbed sleep, frequent urination and that’s just to name a few.
So we have looked at what your body is doing and it sounds miraculous. It is working so hard that it is a little easier to understand now why you want that duvet day, why you can’t concentrate through burning eye sockets.
Clearly, in an ideal world, we pregnant women would love to be waited on hand and foot, stay in bed when we cannot be bothered to get up, etc. But this is not the case!
In early pregnancy, many people choose not to share their news until after their first trimester. Women tend to try and go about their normal daily tasks as they did before getting pregnant.
This is even more so if this is not your first pregnancy. Juggling other children whilst your body is doing so much can wipe you out.
So what can we do to boost that energy level?
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What Can We Do To Help Boost Energy Levels?
Some of these may be fairly obvious to you but women do tend to bear a great deal of responsibility on their own shoulders. But during this time in your life, you must be prepared to ask for and accept help.
Take it easy
This is a ‘do as it says on the label’ tip. You just read for yourself momma your body is doing circus tricks inside and something has to slow down, and your body will thank you.
Ask for help
This is the biggest tip that is probably most ignored. Let’s face it we are wonder women. We work, clean, make dinner, look after other children, do the laundry, grocery shop and now we are making another life!
If that isn’t the biggest reason for you to ask for help I don’t know what is. We like to show that we can do it all but listen up momma…
“You are not failing by asking for help”
Ask your husband/partner/ friends/ family – especially the siblings to be! They love having important roles and the fact that they can start these before the baby arrives adds to their excitement!
The fuel we put into our bodies has a massive impact on our levels of concentration and performance. Diet is critical to a pregnant woman.
Many women suffer from nausea and morning sickness which is common but when you feel you can stomach it the following superfoods will benefit you in the fight against fatigue!
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In pregnancy, you need to consume more dairy products to increase your levels of calcium and protein. This will help provide those essential B12 vitamins and nutrients to your growing fetus.
Beans, soya beans, peas, etc. are fantastic at supplying your body with fiber, iron, and folate. These nutrients are needed in abundance when pregnant as it lowers the risk of preterm birth and other birth defects.
Green vegetables are good for us, there is no doubting that! When we are tired their nourishing goodness provides us with all the vitamins needed for healthy digestion and cell development which our body is doing at a rapid pace right now!
Nuts and seeds
These are great for snacking. Packed with rich fats like omega-3 and fatty acids which are vital in fetal development. Experiment with dried fruits as well, mix up little variety bags for yourself.
Prunes and dates are fantastic at combating constipation that some women have during pregnancy. High levels of fiber and potassium mean that they are a go-to snack at any time of the day! Not to mention they are very convenient for a busy lifestyle
So you are eating everything you should, asking for help when you need it, and also resting when you can. It has been a long hard day and your body is still going even though you have stopped.
You cannot wait to jump into bed for some well-earned rest. Wait! There is a problem – you are hot, sweaty, it’s too light outside, you are becoming frustrated as you struggle to fall asleep.
Make sure your bedroom is made into your heaven! We sleep best in cooler darker surroundings so put the fan on baby! Lay with a thinner quilt! Invest in a black-out blind or close the shutters to make the room calm and relaxing.
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Napping in pregnancy can be just as beneficial as eating a healthy diet! Your not getting the full 8 hours a night due to heartburn, indigestion, toilet breaks, and all the rest that comes with growing a human.
You and your body need to rest and if that means short intervals of catnapping during the day then so be it!
You are doing your best by taking this rest but be careful not to replace nighttime sleeping with naps. They only benefit if they are not replacing your nighttime rest.
This may seem a little obvious to us moms and moms-to-be. Before getting pregnant you never used to feel human until your cup of coffee with breakfast. You may think you need that extra push of caffeine to wake you up and shock your system back to playing at full speed.
Be careful momma, caffeine can have a harmful and devastating effect on your unborn child. Keep the coffee at bay and watch out as caffeine can sneak into your diet as well.
Exercise releases endorphins in our brain to make us feel good and happy. It can combat this wave of tired irritability during your pregnancy.
Taking part in a low gentle exercise can help you feel revitalized and ready to take on the day ahead. Be careful not to push too hard as your body is already doing a marathon remember. It may also help you switch off better at night.
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In an ideal world, we would all have brilliant routines and diets that would make fighting pregnancy fatigue a breeze, lets be honest we all want to love all our greens and be able to stay hydrated with lashings of water during the day.
Sadly, it is not always the case.
With fatigue, pregnancy can also bring around morning sickness. Now this symptom is extremely common and a little unfair to you as the mom-to-be. You’re unwillingly getting rid of all those wonderful vitamins and nutrients we have talked about literally down the toilet.
So what do the experts suggest?
Your gyno will suggest you take prenatal vitamins.
Of course, this is a wonderful magical pill that includes every nutrient and mineral your unborn baby would ever want and with you eating a balanced diet there will be more than enough vitamins to go around! So put them at the top of the grocery list!
The Final Thought
Overall being pregnant is not easy, you are on an emotional rollercoaster, feeling guilty for not performing as you should whether it’s at work or as a mom already or you are filled with anxiety and fear for the changes that are happening.
You need to take time for yourself, work a pamper session into your busy day, prioritize rest and relaxation.
It sounds dreamy when you read it like this but it is hard to put it into practice. Start now momma, start putting you and your unborn baby first, the laundry will still be there later.
Growing tiny humans is exhausting so listen to your body it knows what it needs and most importantly be kind to yourself. Check out our Week by week guide to pregnancy for lots more information.