A pregnant mother’s body is working tremendously hard to operate itself and also feed and breathe for another little person, so feeling tired during pregnancy is understandable. It occurs most commonly in the first trimester, but can be felt during any time in pregnancy, especially around the time the baby is due.
Fatigue is a very common pregnancy complaint and can be caused by a variety of factors. These most commonly include:
Anemia – Anemia occurs when there is not enough iron in the bloodstream to carry enough oxygen to mother and baby. See more on anemia below for info on how to increase your iron levels.
Insufficient Exercise – Exercise is important during pregnancy for many reasons. It helps keep you from becoming overweight, increases blood flow to you and your baby and can also help increase oxygen levels by helping you to breathe better. Exercise is an excellent way to increase your energy and stamina. It is necessary for helping you to cope with the hard work of labor and birth.
Over-Exertion – Exercise is good, but if you are exhausted from doing too much, try to tame down your exercise and don’t be too hard on yourself with work, errands, and chores. Try to do a little each day, but keep it to a healthy level so that you do not stress yourself or the baby.
Thyroid Problems – If you are hyper- or hypo-thyroidal, it can cause you to feel weary and fatigued for much of the day. It may be a good idea to have your thyroid levels checked.
Heat – Overheating is easy to do during pregnancy, especially if it is summer or if you are dressed too warmly. Try cooling yourself slowly to see if it helps. Dress lightly in summer in cotton clothing and drink cool water throughout the day.
Depression – It is not uncommon for women to feel depressed during pregnancy. This may show itself as exhaustion or wanting to sleep more than usual. If you suspect depression, speak to a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Depression can increase the likelihood of preterm labor and may cause stress to your baby.
Unhealthy Diet – Improper eating can lead to feelings of exhaustion and fatigue. Be sure that you are getting lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to high-protein foods. Cut down on excessive carbohydrates and sugars and avoid foods that contain empty calories.
Vitamin Deficiency – Lack of proper nutrients can cause weariness as well, especially iron and B-complex vitamins. Be sure that you are getting plenty of B vitamins in your diet. They are especially good for nausea, depression, and fatigue during pregnancy.
Practicing Yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques can help you de-stress and will help regulate your body. Stretching can also help you to feel more limber and help you feel better.
If you have children, try to rest when they do. Take naps with your kids or ask someone you know to watch them for you for a while so that you can take a much-needed nap. Don’t plan too many activities with your kids. You may even have to cut down on time you spend at playgroups.
Another good way to battle fatigue during pregnancy is to cut down your schedule and leave room open for regular naps during the day. A good long nap can really help you recharge and give you energy. It allows your body to rest so that it can take time to work for you and your baby. Even when you are sitting still, being pregnant is a lot of work!