Fatigue during pregnancy is common, especially in the beginning. Most women, in particular, have the first four months. But some women suffer the whole pregnancy. How can you prevent this?
Pregnant and tired
It is logical that you are not a bit tired, but very tired when you are pregnant. During pregnancy, a lot happens in your body and that takes a lot of energy. In addition, your sleep cycle changes when you are pregnant and you may suffer from insomnia. Unfortunately, there is sometimes a difference between sleeping and sleeping.
When does fatigue increase?
Fatigue is often one of the first signs that you are pregnant: it is a typical pregnancy ailment of the first trimester. Already in the first week after fertilization, you can suffer from it. Many women resurface at the beginning of the second trimester, but unfortunately, the fatigue often returns in the third trimester. Especially in the last weeks before delivery you can feel completely exhausted.
Does every woman suffer from it?
No. Whether you are tired and in which trimester that is, varies per woman and per pregnancy. Some feel very fit in the first trimester, others are extremely tired for 9 months.
When is more going on?
If you feel that your fatigue is very extreme, or if you are also very lethargic and do not feel like it, there can be more to it. Fatigue and insomnia can also be signs of (prenatal) depression. Do you feel somber or sometimes anxious, and are you quickly stimulated? Talk about this with your midwife or GP. Fatigue can also be caused by anemia, which is not uncommon during a pregnancy (often due to iron deficiency ). You can have your blood checked by the midwife or GP . This will then tell you whether you might need additional nutritional supplements improve cervical mucus naturally.
Causes for fatigue
There are several causes for your fatigue during pregnancy. The most important: being pregnant is just hard work. There is a lot that happens in your body:
During the first trimester, your body puts a lot of energy into making the placenta, the ‘life-support system’ for your baby.
Hormones on the hollow
Many pregnancy ailments arise because your hormonal balance changes completely, so also fatigue. In the first weeks, your body makes a lot of extra progesterone, a hormone that has the effect that your muscles relax. This can result in you becoming very tired. The pregnancy hormone hCG can also cause fatigue. The amount of this hormone peaks in the first trimester between 9 and 12 weeks, after which it decreases again.
The metabolism of pregnant women is faster: you burn carbohydrates faster than usual. Carbohydrates are an important form of energy for your body, so you are now quicker than normal.
Blood pressure and blood sugar fall
In the first months of pregnancy, your blood pressure is lower than normal. That is not surprising: many new blood vessels develop in the placenta, just like in your organs. Your body also makes a lot of extra blood, but that does not go as fast as the growth of the vials. As a result, the pressure on those blood vessels temporarily decreases. Your blood sugar also drops, because in the first months a lot of glucose goes to the baby. Falling blood pressure and low sugar levels can also affect your fatigue. But there are more reasons why you can be more tired than normal.
Many women lie awake during their pregnancy , sleep lighter, have strong dreams and wake up more often at night. You will not wake up very rested the next morning. The cause of this is also those hormonal changes. But also ailments like rising heartburn , back pain , restless legs , you name it, are not really conducive to your night’s rest. It is also not helpful to worry about baby names or the baby release list. At the end of the pregnancy, many women find it difficult to find a nice sleeping position, so you regularly wake up ‘crumpled’ and undeepped.
Often at night to the toilet
Once you are comfortable in your bed, sometimes you have to go out to pee again and again. You have probably never visited the toilet as often as during your pregnancy. Because the uterus presses on your bladder and because your body holds a lot of fluid , you have to urinate more often. Peeing often has to come through the changes in your hormone balance . Fortunately, this usually disappears after a week or twelve and you’ll get back to your sleep. Later in your pregnancy, you often have to go out of bed regularly at night to urinate. This time because your bladder is compromised by your growing belly.
As your hormones go in all directions, your emotions can also fly from the wild. Coughing and anger outbursts around nothing are very normal, but the next moment you can be extremely happy again. And that can be – mentally – quite tiring.
Finally, as you progress in your pregnancy, you also carry more weight with you through your growing belly. No wonder you are exhausted at the end of the day.
Risks for the baby?
No worries, your fatigue is not dangerous for the baby. It is a sign that your body is doing its best to ensure that your baby develops flawlessly. That you are sometimes completely exhausted, your baby will not notice it. Any sleep deprivation also has no consequences for the baby.
Tips against fatigue
Fatigue during pregnancy is actually unavoidable. You will therefore have to strike yourself through it. But with these tips against fatigue, that might be a bit easier:
Even if you have to urinate often , you still have to keep drinking enough, because you need more fluid than usual. Try to do that especially in the morning and in the afternoon and not to drink too much after 8 pm so that you can limit the nightly walk to the toilet at least once.
Eat enough and healthy
Because your metabolism goes faster, you probably also need new energy more quickly. Choose healthy snacks, such as fruit or vegetables and wholemeal products. If you suffer from morning sickness , you may have little appetite. Yet it is important to keep eating enough, to keep your energy up to standard.
It may be the last thing you should think about, but physical exercise can actually help with your fatigue. Take a short walk, do some exercises or go swimming or cycling. You will see that you are refurbishing it and it can also make it easier for you to fall asleep at night.
Stay in bed
Even if it is difficult to fall asleep at night, it is better to stay in bed just then. That way your body will still get peace. During the day, try to catch up on the missed night’s sleep if your work and family allow it. Hold on to a fixed sleep rhythm as much as possible and do not sleep more than an hour during the day. Then you disrupt your biorhythm the least and sleep best.
Sleep on your left side
For a good night’s sleep it is useful to learn to sleep on your left side. The flow of blood to the placenta is better then, and your baby is well supplied with oxygen and nutrients. Moreover, your kidneys work best when you are on your left side. Make sure you are comfortable, possibly with a nursing pillow, pillows or folded towels; put one between your bent knees, one under your stomach and one behind your back for support. In any case, do not try to sleep on your back. The combination of the weight of the baby and your uterus can then press the vein that lies along your spine. This creates less good blood flow from your lower body, also towards your placenta. This can make you dizzy Another consequence of poor blood flow from the lower body can also cause ailments such as varicose veins , hemorrhoids and fluid accumulation in your legs.
If you have time during the day to take a nap on the couch, take that opportunity. If you have worked one day, then lie down before you have to cook again or clean up in the house, that can take a while. Or dive into your bed in the evening, but make sure that you get enough rest.
Adjust your work schedule
Is your fatigue in the way to do your job well during pregnancy ? Talk about it with your boss. Maybe you can go to work somewhere to sleep for half an hour. Or maybe you can do some work from home, so that you can lie down on the couch from time to time.
Bring the children away for an afternoon
If you already have children, ask if your mother, sister or neighbor can fit a few hours (extra). That gives you the chance to sleep for a while without anyone eagerly waiting beside you.
If you continue to suffer from fatigue and you do not have anemia, then you can take extra vitamins especially for the pregnant woman. In many cases, such a supplement takes away the worst fatigue. Dormiplant VSM is a homeopathic remedy that helps to sleep and is safe during pregnancy. But also familiar home remedies sometimes help; a cup of hot milk with honey for example, or a hot shower.
As mentioned, the fatigue is a temporary ailment in most women. The worst fatigue during pregnancy is usually during the first weeks. Around week 12 it will (probably) be better!