Pregnancy Fatigue: I Feel Like Rip VanWinkle

March 4, 2009

You got out of bed two hours ago and you're ready for a nap. You sit at your desk at work and nod off, only to be shocked back into wakefulness by the sudden drop of your head into your chest. The pregnancy test came back positive and even though you're excited, you can't keep your eyes open long enough to celebrate. Is this normal?

Why Does Pregnancy Make Me So Tired?

Pregnancy puts a strain on your entire body and can make you feel very tired and sluggish. During pregnancy, hormone levels change dramatically and it is believed that the rise in progesterone, along with the other hormones, is what causes the sluggishness and sleepiness. On the other hand, even though you're exhausted, you don't seem to be able to get a good night's sleep and trips to the bathroom are at an all time high. Add nausea and vomiting to the picture and it is little wonder you are so tired.

1st Trimester Fatigue: Don't Worry, You Will Wake Up Soon

Fatigue is most common during the first trimester of pregnancy. Usually by the second trimester energy levels are good and the need to nap is often greatly reduced. Around the time you are seven months pregnant, you'll begin to peter out again. You'll be carrying more weight which can affect your sleep, and other aches and pains such as a sore back, heartburn, muscle cramps and an active baby can all be contributors to your tiredness.

If the fatigue doesn't diminish or go away by the time you are well into your second trimester, or if you are worried that something isn't right with your pregnancy, a chat with your care provider about how you're feeling is appropriate. Some women experience fatigue throughout their pregnancies. However, it is a good idea to rule out anemia or depression.

Ways To Cope With Pregnacny Fatigue

There are a few things you can do to help yourself through this period of your pregnancy. Treat yourself to a nap through the day. Just 15 minutes can make a huge difference in the way you are able to function at work. If there's a lounge at work, stretch out on it. If not, sometimes the back seat of the car is a good place to hide out for a siesta. Go to bed at night earlier than normal so you get some extra sleep before you wake to run to the bathroom.

If you're the kind of person who is constantly on the go, try to cut out some of your extra-curricular activities for a while and don't be afraid to let a bit of dust accumulate on the furniture. If you are able to reduce the number of hours you work outside of the home for the first months of your pregnancy, you will probably feel much more productive when you are at work. If you are a stay-at-home mom, nap with the kids when they are sleeping.

A healthy diet consisting of fruit, veggies, good proteins and dairy, allowing for about 300 calories extra every day, helps to keep both you and baby well nourished. Cut back on caffeine and increase your water intake to remain well hydrated. Get some exercise every day-even if it is just a short walk. It helps you to feel better and keeps the blood and oxygen moving well through your body.

 

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