It is very common for women to experience weakness in pregnancy. Your body is working a lot harder than normal. So, if you are feeling weak and shaky during pregnancy, don’t be too worried. Many others go through the same tiredness.
This tiredness may be due to a lack of sufficient sleep. But it may also persist despite you getting enough sleep. So what causes weakness during pregnancy? What can you do to prevent or cure it? What are the signs of weakness in pregnancy?
This article sheds some light on such topics.
What Is The Cause Of Weakness In Pregnancy?
Fatigue and weakness during pregnancy are usually nothing to worry about. It is very common. In fact, because of frequently affecting women in the first few weeks of pregnancy, fatigue is one of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy. In addition to that, women in the third trimester also often experience it.
So it is clear that so many reasons and conditions can cause weakness in pregnancy. These can occur at any time. Given below are a few things that can cause weakness in pregnancy.
1. Morning sickness can make you feel weak
Feeling weak and shaky during pregnancy’s first trimester is mainly due to morning sickness. It is quite normal to experience weakness after vomiting in pregnancy. Also, the surging pregnancy hormones and the body’s attempt to cope with them contribute to weakness during this stage.
2. Building placenta
The process of placenta formation is another important reason for extreme tiredness in early pregnancy. This is an enormous task that saps your body of energy.
3. Getting overheated
Another reason for weakness in pregnancy is overheating. Being overheated during pregnancy can also have other side effects like nausea. You may also feel lightheaded. These symptoms will increase your tiredness, and you will want to lie down.
4. Dehydration can cause weakness during pregnancy
It is very common for pregnant women to experience dehydration. Your body needs and uses a lot more water than before, and you will have to learn to keep up with your needs. Not drinking enough water during this time can have a lot of consequences, including weakness, dizziness and shakiness.
5. Low blood sugar
One of the main reasons for weakness is undoubtedly low blood sugar. During pregnancy, you will have a much higher metabolism, in addition to all the hormonal changes. However, due to morning sickness and loss of appetite, chances are, you are not eating as much as you should.
This means that you will not get the calories you need. A lack of calories will result in your blood sugar level dropping, which can lead to weakness and shakiness, in addition to other problems.
6. Low blood pressure
Like low blood sugar, low blood pressure is another major reason for weakness in pregnancy. One of the causes of low blood pressure is the changes in hormone levels that your body goes through during pregnancy.
It causes the cardiovascular system to relax, which, in turn, causes the blood vessels to expand. This causes low blood pressure during pregnancy.
Low blood pressure results in weakness and dizziness during pregnancy.
7. Iron deficiency
Iron deficiency, or anemia, is another big reason for weakness during pregnancy. It is a common cause of weakness in pregnancy third trimester
When you are pregnant, your need for several nutrients, including iron, shoots up. However, many people fail to learn this and does not consume enough iron-rich foods to fulfill their daily requirement. This is what causes anemia. Anemia, in turn, causes side effects like weakness, fatigue, or dizziness.
Underactive thyroid glands during pregnancy can trigger many issues. Weakness in pregnancy is one among them. A certain amount of thyroid hormone is necessary for optimum energy production. A drop in thyroid hormone contributes to lower energy levels making expecting women feel weak and tired.
9. Gestational diabetes
Extreme weakness is one of the core symptoms of gestational diabetes. Expecting women who also suffer from gestational diabetes experiences constant weakness irrespective of eating sleeping well.
Research suggests that about 9% of pregnant women experience depression during pregnancy. Depression during pregnancy is characterized by sadness and hopelessness. Weakness in pregnancy is another important sign of depression.
11 Signs Of Weakness In Pregnancy
Weakness in pregnancy is something more than the “usual tiredness” majority of pregnant women experience during pregnancy. However, you need to know what the signs of weakness that need attention are. Given below are 11 classic signs of weakness in pregnancy.
1. Lack of energy indicates weakness in pregnancy
A lack of energy is a common sign of weakness and is commonly felt by pregnant women. You may feel so tired that you can’t get out of bed, and if you manage to do it, you feel like going back to it immediately. You may constantly feel sluggish and exhausted. This may make it difficult to accomplish even the simplest of tasks on your to-do list.
This is a very common sign that you are experiencing weakness in pregnancy, and can prove to be very inconvenient for you.
Many a time, weakness in pregnancy can be due to dehydration. A severe headache is one of the signs of dehydration. And since you are off medications, you will find headaches during pregnancy a huge issue to tackle.
3. Trouble sleeping
Trouble sleeping is another important sign of weakness in pregnancy. According to studies, more often, sleeping issues accompany extreme weakness. Reduced sleep quality that paves the way for un-refreshed sleep is quite common among women experiencing weakness in pregnancy.
4. Muscle weakness during pregnancy
Muscle weakness during pregnancy is one of the classic signs of weakness in pregnancy. A pregnant woman may experience a lack of physical or muscle strength. She might feel an extra effort is required to move her arms and legs. More often weakness in the legs in pregnancy can be an outcome of this general weakness.
5. Extreme mood swings
Mood swings are nothing new for a pregnant woman. With the way your hormones act up during this time, it would be surprising if you didn’t have mood swings. However, there is another side, or cause, to this time-old issue.
Extreme weakness during pregnancy will result in not being able to complete basic tasks. It will also affect the mother negatively by making her sluggish and tired all day. Of course, this will take a toll on her emotional well-being! This often causes extreme mood swings, making it one of the signs of weakness during pregnancy.
6. Brain fog is a sign of weakness in pregnancy
Brain fog occurs when a person is not able to think, remember, comprehend, or reason as they should normally be able to. It negatively impacts your memory skills and causes poor judgment and lack of concentration. It hinders clarity and prevents reasoning skills. The degree of brain fog varies from person to person and depends on several factors.
Brain fog during pregnancy is often caused when a pregnant woman is having some health issues, specifically, inability to cope with the growing needs of the body. Therefore, it can be classified as one of the signs of weakness in pregnancy. It can stop you from completing your daily tasks and can a pain to deal with.
7. Loss of appetite
Loss of appetite is both a sign and a cause of weakness. Weakness often causes a lack of focus and extreme tiredness. This tiredness may convince you that not eating is more convenient than eating. You may lack the energy to work up an appetite and eat food. This makes lack of appetite a sign of weakness.
Related Reading: Top 10 Protein-Rich Foods For Pregnancy
Some women may also experience weakness after eating in pregnancy. It is imperative to have a well-rounded, balanced diet during pregnancy. Sometimes, weakness in pregnancy can be attributed to unhealthy food choices – which may not be not providing enough energy.
Conditions like low blood pressure, low blood sugar, brain fog, and loss of appetite can all contribute to dizziness and nausea. So, this may be a sign of weakness during pregnancy.
And vice-versa, this may also make you not want to eat more.
With symptoms like extreme brain fog, it is no surprise that weakness can cause extreme tiredness and lack of proper brain function during pregnancy. This can sometimes lead to far worse consequences than mere inconvenience. While hallucinating is rare, it is still a sign of weakness during pregnancy.
10. Low motivation
When you lack the energy to do anything and seem to feel tired constantly, it can be hard to have the motivation to do any task. So, while weakness is not the only possible reason for low motivation, it can still be considered a sign of weakness, especially if coupled with other signs.
11. Falling sick every now and then
Weakness during pregnancy can lead to having a lower immunity. This, during a time when you are already vulnerable, can make you a lot more prone to getting infections. So if you are getting sick often, contracting infections, it might be a sign that you have weakness in pregnancy.
You should take steps to boost your immunity– you need it now more than ever.
How To Combat Feeling Weak During Pregnancy
There are three important steps you can take to fight weakness during pregnancy.
- Don’t just ignore it – If you suddenly start to feel weak while doing an activity, it can seem tempting to just ignore it and keep going. However, you must resist that urge. If you are standing or walking, you should sit down or lie down on your side. If you are driving, stop the car at the side of the road immediately, but carefully. Ignoring weakness can be truly dangerous, so never try to push through it.
- Eat and drink – Get some fluids and nutrients in you, ASAP! Plain water, sports drinks, flavored water, etc are all good ways to get yourself hydrated. As for food, you should try to eat snacks rich in carbohydrates (like crackers or biscuits). You can also eat fruits. These will give you some easily absorbable sugars which will give you instant energy.
- Take some rest – You have to try to get some rest until your energy is back up and the weakness has gone. It is a good idea to stay seated or at rest for about 15-20 minutes. If you can, keep your legs up so that the blood rushes back up to your brain.
If you are around people, remember that there is no shame in asking someone for help. Your safety is of the utmost importance, so don’t be shy to tell someone you are feeling weak.
How to Prevent Feeling Weak During Pregnancy
Weakness during pregnancy can have several adverse effects. But don’t worry. You do not have to leave it to chance. There are some precautions you can take to ensure that you do not feel weak during pregnancy. These are all easy to do and are very effective.
1. Drink a lot of water
Hydration is very important, especially during pregnancy. Drinking enough water and other fluids are very helpful in averting a lot of the cons of pregnancy. A pregnant woman should drink about 10 cups of water each day.
2. Eat sufficient, nutritious food
Rather than three meals a day, try to eat in more frequent intervals throughout the day. You can have a meal every 2 hours or so. This doesn’t have to be a three-course meal. A nice snack of energizing food will do. Some nuts, a PB&J sandwich, or an apple or two can go a long way.
3. Avoid overheating
Try to keep your body temperature nice and cool. You can wear loose, light clothes if it is a hot day. Try not to go outside if it is really hot, and if you must, don’t exert yourself. Exerting yourself on a hot day will increase your body heat and can lead to weakness.
4. Keep yourself engaged
While you should not exert yourself too much, it is not wise to be too idle, either. If you have been sitting for a while, stand up and move around a bit. If you have been lying down, sit up for some time. Change up your position every now and then. This will help the blood flow to your brain.
5. Consume enough iron
Consuming enough iron is one of the main concerns of an expecting mother. Not getting enough iron can lead to iron deficiency, or anemia, and can weaken you. So it is important to pay attention to how much iron you are taking. A pregnant woman needs about 27 mg of iron a day. Some foods that provide iron are beans, leafy green vegetables, and red meat.
When to Call the Doctor About Weakness During Pregnancy
Usually, weakness is nothing to worry about and is quite a par for the course for pregnant women. Usually, it dissipates after you have something to eat and drink, and some rest. However, sometimes, it is just a sign of something more serious. In such a case, there are some symptoms to watch out for.
- Chest pain while experiencing weakness
- You feel weak even after eating well and taking ample rest
- You have trouble breathing properly
- Has too much of an impact on your quality of life
If you experience any of the above signs, it is probably time to consult a doctor. They can, with the help of tests, find the cause of your weakness during pregnancy, and have it fixed.
Weakness in pregnancyis a widespread occurrence that many expecting mothers experience. It is completely normal, and usually not anything to be worried about. The signs listed above can help you realize if you have a weakness, and it is fairly easy to combat it.
However, in some cases, it can be due to an underlying condition. In such a case, it is necessary to see a doctor as soon as possible.
If you follow all of the precautions and remedies listed in the article above, you can easily prevent weakness and have a nice, healthy, energetic pregnancy.