It is completely normal to feel tired during pregnancy, and it tends to hit hardest in the first and last trimesters. Some women feel tired the whole time they are pregnant, while others may not feel any pregnancy fatigue at all. Even though it can be different for each woman, most pregnant women will feel more tired than usual. Over-tiredness during pregnancy is nothing more than part of the process of making a baby. We’ve put together a list of safe solutions to help you boost your energy levels and overcome fatigue in pregnancy.
What Causes Pregnancy Fatigue?
Pregnancy fatigue symptoms are common in the early stages of pregnancy. Many factors contribute to weakness during pregnancy.
According to1, the overtiredness during this stage of pregnancy is due to:
- Hormonal shifts: Changes in hormone levels, notably progesterone, have a significant influence in causing fatigue. Rapid increases in this hormone are seen throughout the first three months of pregnancy
- Increasing blood volume: The blood volume and other fluids start to increase during this phase and the body has to get adjusted to this new change. increase body adjusts to the pregnancy
- As the placenta grows and the fetal circulation needs more blood, your heart beats more quickly and forcefully. Consequently, breathing and pulse rates speed up. Changes in breathing patterns may contribute to pregnancy fatigue
- Emotional shift: Hormonal changes happening in your body at this time can cause you to feel emotional and queasy. This may affect the adequate intake of food. Fatigue is exacerbated when proper nutrition is compromised
Related Reading: 11 Foods That Give You Energy While Pregnant
Your second trimester is when you should start to feel more like yourself again, with increased energy and a return to your normal routine. Since a woman’s energy levels are likely to drop again in the third trimester, many take advantage of this time to get a lot done. It’s okay if you continue to experience fatigue during the second trimester. While pregnancy fatigue is less common in the second trimester, it is still a real possibility.
The expectant mother will probably start to feel tired once more in the third trimester. It can be due to:
- Having emotional problems: Whether or not you intended to have a child, a pregnant woman may naturally experience a range of emotions related to becoming a parent, the health of the fetus, and the pregnancy itself. When a pregnant woman suffers from emotional exhaustion, she may feel emotionally drained, stressed, and fatigued2
- Trouble sleeping: Aches and discomforts such as heartburn and frequent bathroom visits, among other things, contribute to sleepless nights, which can lead to pregnancy fatigue. This can bring about weakness during pregnancy’s third trimester.
- Carrying extra weight: When fatigue strikes during the third trimester of pregnancy, the most common cause is that the baby has grown to a larger size. It can be exhausting to carry all that extra weight around
- Increased blood volume: By now, your baby’s blood volume has increased by half to accommodate its rapid growth and provide it with the oxygen and nutrients it needs. In addition to a decrease in blood sugar, your blood pressure is also falling
Some medical problems can cause fatigue during pregnancy, including:
- Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
- Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
- Gestational diabetes
Related Reading: Energy Drinks During Pregnancy – Are They Safe?
18 Tips To Fight Fatigue In Pregnancy
Consult your physician if fatigue is one of the numbers of new symptoms you’ve been experiencing. This is done to rule out any underlying medical problems. Treating the cause of fatigue may result in increased vitality. On the other hand, if fatigue is just one of those parts and parcels of pregnancy, there are numerous strategies to deal with it.
Here are some tips for overcoming weakness during pregnancy.
1. Rest, rest, and rest
When you’re feeling tired, permit yourself to stay in bed for a little longer than usual. If you need to get this done, try napping during the day or getting to bed at a more reasonable hour. Employ a housekeeper or have a family member assist with cleaning and household chores.
Rather than you doing the running around, have your partner do some errands. This is one of the first steps to overcoming tiredness during pregnancy.
2. Modify your timetable
If your current commitments or activities are too tiring while you’re pregnant, you may need to change your schedule temporarily to make it less busy. One way to accomplish this is to reduce the number of hours spent working, completing household chores, attending/organizing unnecessary social events, etc.
3. Eat a balanced diet
The stamina and strength of a pregnant woman can be greatly bolstered by adhering to a healthy diet. Eat a balanced diet high in iron, protein, and calories. Prenatal vitamins are essential and should never be skipped. The inability to get enough of the right nutrients can exacerbate fatigue.
Foods like milk, yogurt, beans, red and white meat, and nut butter (peanut, almond, and cashew) are high in both nutrients and protein and can help to fight fatigue. Reduce your consumption of sugary foods and beverages.
Related Reading: Diet Coke During Pregnancy – All You Need To Know
While eating something sweet like chocolate or ice cream may help you feel better in the short term, it won’t provide you with lasting energy and will likely leave you feeling hungry again soon after.
It’s important to know that some energy drinks contain substances that aren’t good for a developing baby. As a rule of thumb, pregnant women should stay away from energy drinks.
Here are some examples of snacks that are good for pregnant women and are healthy, tasty, easy, and quick to make:
- Mixed nuts and seeds, about a handful’s worth.
- Fruit or vegetables.
- Chickpeas that have been roasted to perfection.
- Celery and carrot sticks dipped in peanut butter.
- Hard-boiled eggs.
- Yummy nut-studded Greek yogurt
4. Get some sleep
It is recommended that pregnant women need to spend at least 8 hours in bed each night, with 7 hours being the minimum acceptable amount of sleep. However, oversleeping may result in increased fatigue.
Most pregnant women can’t sleep through the night without being woken up by their full bladders or other discomforts that come with being pregnant. Sleep deprivation during pregnancy isn’t uncommon. Make up for lost sleep by taking one or two short naps during the day.
Hitting the hay earlier in the evening is the simplest way to clock more sleep, and it can have a dramatic effect on your daytime productivity.
Going to bed hungry or too full can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Having a small snack just before bedtime can help you get a more restful night’s sleep. You can have:
- Milk and cereal
- Yogurt and fruit salad
- Oatmeal with dried fruit
- Milk and digestive biscuits.
- Slice of toast and a banana.
- A toasted, buttered, multigrain bagel
5. Maintain a consistent eating schedule
Rather than relying on three large meals per day, it is preferable to eat smaller meals and snacks every few hours when energy is low. This method can help you feel less tired because your brain, which has very few energy reserves of its own, requires a steady supply of nutrients.
Pregnant women who go more than a few hours without eating may start to feel lethargic. In any case, your brain can survive very little. You can get by with just a piece of fruit or some nuts.
Having regular meals and snacks is also important for keeping your blood sugar level stable while you’re pregnant. Steer clear of foods and drinks that contain a lot of sugar. Never go without eating. Blood sugar and energy levels can be maintained with a diet of six small meals rather than three large ones.
Related Reading: How To Cope With Sweet Cravings During Pregnancy
6. It’s important to stay hydrated
Staying well-hydrated is essential, especially during the nine months of pregnancy. A lack of fluids can make you feel weak and tired. Drinking enough water and eating foods high in water content (like fruits, vegetables, and soup) can help you overcome tiredness during pregnancy3.
7. Moderate exercise
Even if you feel like you don’t have the energy to exercise, doing something as simple as going for a 30-minute walk can boost your energy levels4. Until your doctor tells you otherwise, it’s best to keep up your exercise routine while pregnant. Exercise during pregnancy also has these additional advantages:
- A decrease in back pain was is one of the common benefits
- Improved bowel movements
- Reduced danger of developing diabetes during pregnancy, developing preeclampsia, and needing a cesarean section
- Better prenatal weight gain
- Improved blood circulation and heart health
8. Modify your sleeping position
Since sleep is a luxury during pregnancy, a change in sleeping position may help to overcome fatigue during pregnancy. Replace your normal sleeping position (front or back) with the left side. This will make you more comfortable and relieve pressure on your main blood vessels. Put a pillow under your knees or between your legs to alleviate the strain on your back.
Related Reading: 11 Things You Can Do When Pregnant And Can’t Sleep At Night
9. Eliminate, Simplify, Automate, and Delegate (ESAD)
To safeguard your vitality and health, follow the four steps of ESAD.
- Eliminate the avoidable tasks and activities
- Simplify the tasks to save energy
- Automate the bill-paying processes
- Delegate: Trust close friends and family with your work
10. Avoid caffeine after lunchtime
Caffeine is a stimulant, so it could keep you up all night or make you wake up more often. It may also prevent you from sleeping because it stimulates the fetus. Sleeping will be hard when your unborn child is too busy moving around and kicking inside your stomach. Experts advise that pregnant women cut back on caffeine consumption.
Related Reading: Indian Tea (Chai) During Pregnancy
11. Pamper yourself
There’s been a lot of talk about how massage can help us out by reducing fatigue and boosting energy levels. Even though massage doesn’t boost energy levels, it can help you feel better by reducing fatigue and other symptoms that sap your strength.
Numerous women have found that prenatal massage is an excellent way to both relax and alleviate the discomforts of pregnancy. Instead of splurging on an expensive spa treatment, consider getting a blowout or a pedicure. You could also try taking a relaxing hot bath or getting a massage from your partner.
12. Listen to your body
Put yourself first and pay attention to what your body needs. Pregnancy is a time when your body can provide you with a wealth of information about its own requirements. Sometimes cravings are a sign that our bodies needs specific nutrients.
The desire for meat and dairy products, for instance, can be interpreted as the body’s way of telling you that it needs more protein, iron, and calcium. To better understand what your body is craving, research the item you’re craving and choose the healthiest version possible.
For example, if you’re craving orange juice, try eating an actual orange instead because it has less sugar.
13. Put your own well-being first
Be skeptical about ‘should’ comments we make regarding obligations, commitments, and intentions. Our daily energy is limited. So we often tire ourselves out trying to satisfy everyone.
A small human is growing inside you. So be gentle to yourself. There are stages in pregnancy when energy increases (e.g. the second trimester) and phases when exhaustion is genuine (e.g. the first and late third trimester), so listen to your body.
14. Stay safe
A pregnant woman who works should ask for a temporary transfer if her current job is hard on her body or exposes her and her unborn child to things that could be harmful. Talking to your doctor and a member of the human resources team will help you find a solution that is both safe and effective.
In any case:
- Stay away from poisonous gases, harmful chemicals, and scorching temperatures
- Try not to be around smokers
15. Get your other children involved
Having additional kids at home can take a toll on pregnant women’s energy levels. Because you are so preoccupied with other things, you might not even realize that you are getting tired. Tell your kids that you’re exhausted because carrying a baby is a lot of work. Get their assistance with household chores. Spend more time relaxing and unwinding by reading or doing puzzles with your children.
16. Make sure you are not anemic
Checking your iron levels is a smart idea because many pregnant women experience fatigue due to anemia. Taking iron supplements while pregnant can help you and your baby keep healthy levels of the mineral.
Related Reading: Green Tea And Folic Acid Absorption During Pregnancy
To get the most iron out of your iron tablet, don’t take calcium supplements or eat or drink things that are high in calcium at the same time. Iron tablets aren’t very effective on their own, but when combined with vitamin C, they can be quite effective.
17. Avoid discussing your pregnancy with strangers
There’s a chance that, in addition to the physical pains of pregnancy, you’ll also have to deal with questions and comments from friends, family, and even strangers. If this happens, it’s best to change the subject to something completely different, such as the weather or a recent TV show you’ve been enjoying. Tell your loved ones that you want to talk about something other than your inability to see clearly or the strange food you keep craving.
18. Do some gardening
Relax and forget about the fatigue of pregnancy by working in your garden. You could plant some seeds (if it is the appropriate time of year to do so), or if you don’t want to wait, you could transplant a few young trees or plants that you purchased from a nearby nursery.
19. Try Yoga
Fatigue was significantly reduced by yoga, according to researchers6. It’s a great way to relieve stress and anxiety that can crop up during pregnancy, and it also helps pregnant women become more flexible.
20. Splash your face with water
It has been found that taking a cold shower or bath is good for your immune system, blood pressure, and circulation, among other things7. As a result, it may also be helpful in warding off fatigue. A splash of cold water on the face can send the same message to your body as a full shower without the hassle.
21. Consider acupuncture
Acupuncture can be helpful if you’re feeling extremely fatigued. When needles are put into nerves at certain points in the body, endorphins are released. Endorphins have been shown to help with a number of pregnancy-related problems, such as fatigue, nausea, and back pain5.
While feeling tired is normal during pregnancy, it’s important to see a doctor if your tiredness worsens or doesn’t go away after a few days. When fatigue does not improve during the second trimester, this is another sign that you should seek medical attention.