Pregnancy Fatigue

What I Wouldn't Give For A Good Night's Sleep

When a woman becomes pregnant the hormonal and physical changes come fast and furiously. Along with sore breasts and nausea and vomiting there is a sense of fatigue that is vaguely reminiscent of those old high school days. The strain of pregnancy on the body can make even the most alert night owl struggle to stay awake for the nine o'clock news. The increase of production of the hormone progesterone may be one of the primary causes of pregnancy fatigue. Add the inability to get a good night's sleep due to frequently visiting the bathroom and you are bound to feel like you've just completed a triathlon by day's end.

Fortunately, fatigue often disappears by the end of the first trimester. However, it can reappear in the third trimester. By that time you are carrying around a lot more weight and you can probably count on one hand the number of hours you sleep at night. Backaches, leg cramps, heartburn and the need to pee every hour all contribute to a sleepless night, or broken sleep at best.

It Should Be Gone By The Second Trimester

The second trimester is often called the pregnancy honeymoon period because energy levels rise again and often all of the initial symptoms of pregnancy are gone. Take advantage of this time and enjoy it. If, after a few weeks into your second trimester you are still feeling fatigued and you are concerned about it, talk with your healthcare provider. Some women are just tired throughout their pregnancies while others suffer with anemia. Your doctor can do a blood test to rule out any problems and you may only need a supplement to get you going again. If there are underlying causes like anemia or depression, your doctor can prescribe treatment.

Dealing With Fatigue

To deal with fatigue during your pregancy, it is important that you pay attention to what your body is communicating. If you are tired, rest. That may be easier said than done, especially if you are working outside the home. If that is the case, then look for an opportunity to go to the lunchroom and stretch out on the couch or, if you have an office, turn out the lights and have your calls held for 15 minutes while you put your head on your desk for a cat-nap. A rest on the back seat of the car is another possibility.

This is the one time in your life where you get to cut things out of your schedule without having to find excuses. It's okay to let the housework slide (another of those easier said than done things), and if you have small children at home, ask someone to watch them for you while you rest. If you are working outside of the home, take an extra sick day or rearrange your work schedule to allow for half-days if possible.

Good Nutrition And Excercise Are Important

Good nutrition is always important and especially so during pregnancy. A woman needs about 300 more calories per day while she is pregnant. To get those extra calories, eat more fruit, veggies, whole grains and low-fat dairy. Leave the junk food. It gives you calories, but they are calories from fat and sugar, both of which simply convert to fat. You want useful calories for both you and your baby.

Get some exercise as well. It sounds like an oxymoron, but the reality is that you will actually find you have more energy if you get outside for a walk and do some deep breathing and stretching. Most important, don't let the tired feeling get you down. You will be out of your first trimester before you know it and into that period of more energy and fewer symptoms.

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