If you are feeling more tired than usual during your pregnancy, it is not hard to figure out one of the reasons why. Your body is going into overdrive to help create another human being (or perhaps more), and that takes a lot of work (even if you are not physically witnessing most of it). However, there is more going on here than you realize.
No matter what the reason, being consistently fatigued during your pregnancy can be very inconvenient. You do not get to take a nine month vacation while you are pregnant – you still have things to do and a life to live!
This is why beating the fatigues of pregnancy is so important, and it is actually not as hard to do as you would think.
Understanding Pregnancy Fatigue
There are actually many factors that help contribute to your sudden need for lots of rest during pregnancy, and we have already covered one of them.
During your first trimester, you are going through a lot of hormonal changes, including a much higher level of progesterone than your body is used to. The fetus is also consuming a lot of your energy as the first trimester is one stage that experiences a lot of rapid growth.
Your third trimester fatigue can be explained by your recent weight gain due to the almost fully-formed baby, and carrying the fat you have gained eating for two, which slows down even further your lymphatic system. Thus, you become more bogged down, and fatigued.
You will also find that your sleep is disturbed more and more, either by frequent restroom visits or the growing baby moving inside of you. Combine this with your normal routine that can include taking care of a house, work, school, family and friends obligations and the usual inconveniences of life. When you take all of this into consideration, it is a wonder you are not sleeping 20 hours a day.
What Can You Do To Cope With Tiredness?
The good news is that it is relatively simple to start becoming more wakeful and alert during your pregnancy. The following tips can help keep you energized and get those synapses firing again.
Pay Attention To Your Diet
Ideally, you should be doing this already. Remember to eat a balanced diet! This includes organic fruits and vegetables, dairy and protein. Also, try to avoid refined carbohydrates, coffee, and lots of sugar.
Take Your Pregnancy Vitamins
For an extra boost of energy and a healthy blood level, introduce more iron into your diet along with a prenatal vitamin. But, always check with your specialist how much iron you should be taking. Too much can be toxic for the fetus.
Eat Frequent, Small Meals
In addition to eating well, start eating more often. Just make sure your portions are smaller. You will be eating the same amount of food as you normally would, just space out the times that you eat it.
As you started your pregnancy, you probably noticed – or read – that your digestion was slowed down, to enhance the absorption of minerals and vitamins, that are part of your nutrition.
This means that when you eat any large amount of food, your digestion will take much longer to finish, and probably making you sleepy.
By reducing the quantity of your portions, and eating more often, you will reduce that digestion sleepiness, and ensure that you have more consistent energy throughout the day.
Drink lots of water, but do so during the morning and afternoon. Cut off your water intake about three hours before you have to go to bed to avoid as many midnight bathroom visits as possible. As you are pregnant and the amount of blood you have increased by 50%, you will want to be drinking between 2-2.5 liters per day.
Get Enough Sleep
Start going to bed earlier. You may have to sacrifice some “me time,” but let us face it – who would not like to nap during their “me time”?
If at all possible, nap during the day, 15-20 minute naps can make all the difference. And, if you can not nap, a short 5-10 minute meditation practice, where you can close your eyes, and relax your mind, and body, can help you too.
Do Some Gentle Exercises
It is important to discuss exercises with your doctor before committing to a routine while pregnant. Any exercise that would involve the pelvic floor are to be avoided, while light exercises like walking and pregnancy yoga are recommended.
That said, if specific activities that you do hurt, which you do not think should, please discuss this with your doctor as soon as possible as this is a sign of high-risk pregnancy.