Pregnancy Tiredness

August 7, 2008

First Trimester Fatigue

You're in the first trimester of your pregnancy and you're wondering if you'll be awake long enough to know what happened during that period of time. Most women remember their first few weeks of pregnancy in terms of hours slept and that if there was a prize, they'd probably win it. The fact of the matter is that pregnancy puts a demand upon your entire body and the end result is fatigue. Staying up long enough to catch the six o'clock news can sometimes be a challenge and nine o'clock is definitely out of the question.

Pregnancy Hormones

During pregnancy there is a dramatic change in your hormonal levels and the extreme rise in progesterone may be responsible for the tired feeling. Getting a good night's sleep can be difficult, especially if you're up several times during the night to go to the bathroom. Morning sickness costs dearly in terms of energy, and anxiety, and concern or fear over your pregnancy or life in general, can drain you as well.

Second Trimester

As a rule, the fatigue passes after the first trimester and your energy levels being to pick up again as you come into the second trimester. Enjoy it while you have it, because generally fatigue returns during the end of your pregnancy when you are carrying around extra weight and not sleeping well because of the awkwardness of your rounder body, heartburn, leg cramps, an active baby and, of course, pressure on the bladder. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? But, don't despair. By the time this happens you will be very close to having your baby and then the sleepless nights will be more regular. Enjoy whatever sleep you do get.

Be Sure You're Healthy During Pregnancy

It's important to rule out any underlying causes for exhaustion or fatigue. Anemia can be a problem and your health care provider may want you to boost your intake of vitamins and minerals. Depression could also be a cause for fatigue and a cause for concern. If you are feeling depressed, seek help and appropriate treatment.

Let Your Body Lead During Pregnancy

Listen to your body. Go to bed earlier, nap throughout the day if you need to and adjust your schedule to fit your energy patterns. Be kind to yourself. If you're not up to doing the housework, let it slide. If you can arrange for some shorter hours at work, do so. If you're a stay-at-home Mom with other children, arrange for someone to take them occasionally so you can have a rest.

Eating well is critical to good energy. Your body requires 300 more calories a day than it did before you got pregnant in order to maintain health and strength for the duration of the pregnancy. A healthy diet and regular exercise promote energy.

Pregnancy Will Be Over Before You Know It

Take heart. In the scheme of things, it is really a very short period of time and if you can focus on the little person growing inside of you, you'll know it's all worth it.

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