Pregnancy Fatigue: Is It Normal? 

They say that children are a gift from god. They are seeds of love that take its form after a nine-month long period of intense caring and nurturing. It sure is a hell of a task. And, it sure takes a toll on the body of the mothers.

picPregnancy fatigue or tiredness

You start to feel exhausted due to many reasons. You feel as if your entire energy has been drained off. It's so easy to slip back to the lazy version of yourself as back in the days, always in the arms of sleep and cutting away all the strings to make you feel comfortable. But you just have to keep rolling.

Just remember it's all part of the process. You are not alone, there are tons of others just like you. Help is always at your disposal be it friends or family just make use of them. 

Is it normal to feel exhausted?

The straight forward question comes with a straight forward answer, which is Yes. It's perfectly normal to feel exhausted and totally drained during pregnancy. For the first-timers, don't go far-fetched on the issue at hand because it is something every woman go through. This happens mainly during the initial and final stages of pregnancy.

In the first trimester, your body is making a few changes to adjust to the new set of conditions that are in place. These changes are brought about by the hormones doing some extra time at work. The metabolism rate increases compared to the normal condition and you may experience tiredness. 

Towards the end, that is the last trimester, your baby is almost in full shape. Not to mention, it has gained several pounds and it is really difficult to carry a full-term baby.

picA full term baby might be difficult to carry

Right now, all you wish for is a good night's sleep. Sometimes luck just runs against you. It's pretty difficult to get that quality sleep because it's during night hours when your baby gets active. You can feel a jab here and there.  

Why do you feel so tired?

Fatigue occurs at different stages during pregnancy and at each stage, there are various factors leading to it. Let's take peek into some of them:

  • Carrying extra weight, which is something new to you
  • Prenatal depression
  • Low blood pressure
  • Changing moods can cause weariness
  • High metabolism rate
  • Placenta formation
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Anemia
  • Anxieties of being a mother

When does pregnancy fatigue occur?

Fatigue is an early symptom of pregnancy, as they begin as early as three weeks after conception. The reason is that the mother's body needs to accommodate space for a special guest and this person is going to be there for at least 30-36 weeks.

During this period, the body needs to take care of its needs and make changes here and there to keep the baby in good shape. They include the formation of the placenta, which is carried out throughout the first trimester and hormonal changes which results in mood swings, leading to weariness. And towards the end, it becomes difficult to carry the extra weight that has been built in your belly. Let's break down the cycle and see what happens during each trimester:

First trimester

As mentioned earlier, during the first trimester, the body has already begun the formation of the placenta, apart from this body is supplying a huge amount of blood to the developing fetus in order to nourish them. This can lead to low blood pressure and lower levels of sugar content in the blood, which can make you feel tired.

Changing hormone levels is another important factor because higher levels of the hormone progesterone can induce sleepiness. 

Second trimester

With the onset of the second trimester, you start to feel the energy and vibrancy that has for long been eluded. You would have shown a red signal to a lot of activities in the first trimester due to the weariness that was glued on you. But now those chains have been broken.

Second trimester is generally relaxed unless you are suffering from prolonged morning sickness (Hyperemesis gravidarum).

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Third trimester

People often call the second trimester as " The happy trimester" and you might expect things are going to get better hereinafter. But no, it doesn't.

Right now, your baby is almost ready to pop out. Not to mention the extra weight you are carrying along with you. This may lead to conditions like "restless leg syndrome" which affects your sleep and prevents you from getting enough rest.

Also, the extra pressure on the bladder makes you urinate more often and again causing disturbed sleep.  It is also highly likely to experience back pain during this period.

How long does pregnancy tiredness last?

Tiredness and fatigue come with the package and if you draw a graph of it then you can see two crests and a trough. The two crests occur during the first and third trimester respectively.

They are accompanied by other symptoms like nausea and vomiting, which together contribute to the morning sickness that you experience. This may last for 14-16 weeks after which they find their energy levels back to normal. Sometimes they may last for as long as 20 weeks

What causes fatigue in pregnancy?

Causes of fatigue during early pregnancy

1. Creating placenta

During the first trimester, the body expends a lot of energy to support the life of the fetus that is growing day by day. A major share goes in the formation of the placenta which nourishes the baby by providing oxygen and nutrients.

2. Hormonal changes

The changes in hormone levels which is commonly seen during pregnancy can create imbalances in the mood. Sometimes this leaves you mentally drained and this surely takes a toll on the body.

3. Metabolism rate

During pregnancy, you find your body metabolism increased rapidly. The body needs to supply the required blood content to the fetus for its growth. This may sometimes result in a hike in blood pressure coupled with lowered blood sugar levels. 

Causes of fatigue later during pregnancy

1. Growing belly

Your baby is growing with each passing day. And after each day, it is gaining some extra weight. Moving around with a few extra pounds in your belly is not some easy task. It can be really exhausting.

2. The stress of having a baby

You try to make everything as perfect as it can get before your baby takes its first breath from the world outside. In doing so, you overexert yourself and this can leave you totally worn out. 

Natural Remedies

picTaking a nap is the best remedy

1. Listen to your body

Just remember a simple thing, “Your body knows everything”. So, the next time your body sends you signals that asks you to take rest to heal and invigorate, never turn your blind eye over them. Try to follow your instincts.

A power nap of 20 minutes can make all the difference in the world. 

2. Rescheduling

Never try to take all the matters into your hand. You need to work smart, and in this case, try sharing your chores with your family or friends. Figure out the works that you have to do alone and the rest try giving a small to each of your family members. Try taking some stuff off your back. 

3. Healthy diet

There is no better remedy to beat the tiredness than a perfectly balanced diet which can combat fatigue and makes you healthy. Try sticking to fresh items on the plate, like the fruits and vegetables.

Sometimes you might need some quick fix, in such cases, caffeine or sugar can be the perfect solution but remember that this should be in moderation.

4. Eat often

Try breaking down your meal to a six-meal solution. Opt for this style of frequent mini-meals comprising of protein, carbs and other important nutrients. They can fill in your needs and at the same time keeps your craving at bay.

5. Exercise regularly

You might feel it a bit paradoxical because here you are trying to beat fatigue and exercise is the last thing you want to do right now. But you might be surprised by how effective they can be.

If you get the green signal from your doctor, try the prescribed exercise for 20-30 minutes every day. You will be able to have a good night sleep. 

6. Relax

Sometimes just a small nap can do wonders to your body. Most women fill their daily charts so tightly and they get so carried away that they forget to relax. Try keeping your mind off the routine stuff and just relax and connect with your inner self. 

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