Tiredness in pregnancy can rule your routine for many months while waiting for your baby's arrival.
Think about it as if you were running a marathon (from the couch or the bed) with no energy drink to get you back on your feet once you faint in the middle of the race. Indeed, fatigue is listed as one of the first pregnancy symptoms, and it's not surprising that some women find out that they are carrying a child when trying to get answers about their weird exhaustion.
Is there any way to deal with tiredness in pregnancy? How long is it going to last? If you want to learn more about it, read on!
Why does fatigue in pregnancy happen?
Tiredness in early pregnancy can be explained through different reasons. Firstly, try to picture what's going on inside you during the first weeks of your pregnancy: your body is, basically, 'manufacturing' another human being by creating a placenta and providing the growing embryo with the necessary nutrients. And, of course, this process takes quite a toll on your own physical state, as your blood pressure and blood sugar levels are lowering and your pregnancy hormones are causing a revolution. Not to mention the impact of other pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness, on your system.
Late on your pregnancy, your baby bump may become the source of your fatigue, because it may keep you from resting well at night.
How long will tiredness in pregnancy last?
As pointed out above, tiredness during pregnancy usually strikes in the beginning, along with symptoms like nausea, headaches and frequent urination, and it tends to wear off by the second trimester, when most women experience a boost of energy. However, fatigue can attack you with a vengeance by the third trimester, when you have to make a physical effort to carry your big belly around.
What can I do to make tiredness in pregnancy better?
Fortunately, there are a few ways to combat or, at least, reduce the effect of tiredness during pregnancy. Do you want to know which ones? Check them out:
- Play smart: you need to listen to your body and pace yourself according to how you feel. Your wellbeing and the baby's are the main priority, so don't worry if you can't keep the floors of your house as shiny as you would like. Or, even better, hand the mop to Dad and forget about it.
- Sleep and sleep more: one of the best ways to fight fatigue during pregnancy is by having long hours of sleep. Turning into a 'sloth' can provide you with the stamina that you may need these days, so don't go on a guilt trip over going to bed early, getting up late or napping.
- Eat well and very often: munch on energy boosters to keep your energy levels steady. Remember to follow a balanced diet that includes wholegrain carbohydrates, meats, fish (the recommended types), eggs, dairy products and at least five portions of veggies or fruits every day. Forget about the three-meal routine and opt for six small meals well-spread throughout the day. That way, you won't run out of 'fuel'.
- Get moving: we feel you, the least thing you probably want to do right now is put your body to work. However, moderate exercise will help you sleep better and, as a result, get up feeling more energised.
- Let others help you: your partner helping you mop the floors of your place may not be enough, of course. It's time to let go of your pride and accept help from your family and friends, so that you can recharge your batteries.
Although tiredness in pregnancy is very common, it can also be a sign of underlying conditions, especially when it becomes extreme. For example, that may be the case if you happen to have anaemia, which many pregnant women end up suffering from. Tiredness during pregnancy could also be associated with depression, above all if the symptoms are accompanied by feelings of hopelessness or lack of interest in things that you used to enjoy. In such cases, don't hesitate to seek medical help.
All in all, tiredness in pregnancy is completely normal. Your body is in overdrive to host and nurture your growing child and, at the same time, keep you moving for nine months. The point is not to put pressure on yourself to do what you shouldn't do. Instead, rest for as long as you need to.