Have you noticed that you’re feeling more exhausted than normal? Fatigue in pregnancy is quite common in the first trimester of pregnancy. It can also strike in the third trimester, as your body gears up for childbirth.
Pregnancy Fatigue in the First Trimester
In the first 12 or 13 weeks of pregnancy, you are going to feel awful. Pregnancy fatigue, which often comes with morning sickness in the first trimester, can make worn out and exhausted. It can be incredibly difficult to keep your head off your desk at work, or staying away during every day tasks.
Fatigue in pregnancy is believed to be caused by hormonal changes, especially the dramatic increase in the hormone progesterone, which is supporting your pregnancy. Fatigue may also be worsened due to lack of sleep during pregnancy, particularly if you are waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. (Frequent urination is a real nuisance!)
Fortunately, by the end of your first trimester, you should feel like yourself again. Pregnancy fatigue will lessen and go away all together by 14 weeks pregnant. The second trimester gives you a much needed break from all your horrible pregnancy symptoms. You’ll get to feel refreshed and like your old self – for a few weeks, anyway.
If you are still incredibly exhausted a couple of weeks into the second trimester, don’t hesitate to call your caregiver about this pregnancy symptom. It’s always safe to be sorry. Sometimes, fatigue in pregnancy can be caused by anemia or depression.
In most cases, however, fatigue is a common pregnancy symptom that you’ll have to literally just slug through.
How to Cope with Fatigue in Pregnancy
Feeling exhausted can be awful, especially if you are a fairly active person who is not used to feeling so run down. You can cope with this pregnancy symptom with the following techniques:
Sleep more. This is hard during pregnancy, but getting that extra rest that you need may just help you feel better. Try to fight pregnancy fatigue by going to bed an hour earlier than normal, or by taking a 15 or 20 minute catnap during your lunch break. If you are that exhausted, you can easily find creative ways to sleep – whether this is napping in your car, or even in an empty conference room.
Eat a healthy diet. Make sure that you don’t load up on potato chips and candy bars. Eat a healthy combination of fruits and vegetables, low fat milk, whole grains and lean meats. These can all energize you and give you a much needed perk.
Go on a brisk walk. Moderate exercise every day can really help you combat fatigue in pregnancy. Even taking a brisk walk down the street – nothing too strenuous – can give you a boost of energy.
Even though you are feeling fatigued and exhausted during pregnancy, don’t automatically reach for that cup of coffee. Drinking too much coffee isn’t recommended when you’re pregnant. Just hang in there. This pregnancy symptom will not last forever!