Pregnancy Fatigue

You can't seem to wake up from sleep, regardless whether it is in the morning or just a nap. You sit down to rest and your eye-blinks get longer and longer. Before you know it, you want to crawl back into bed. Energy is a fading memory and lifting the cup to your mouth takes more effort than you care to spend. Pregnancy puts a strain on your entire body and it takes a lot of energy to keep up with the changes.

A Common First Trimester Symptom

Fatigue is common during the first trimester of pregnancy as hormonal changes trigger all sorts of new and unfamiliar sensations. The general thought is that the dramatic rise in progesterone, which happens at the beginning of pregnancy, triggers a variety of states, including tiredness. The fact that your bladder continues to call you from sleep in the middle of the night and morning sickness takes more than food from your body, adds up to borderline exhaustion.

This Too Shall Pass-But It Will Come Back

While it is different for each woman, generally by the second trimester fatigue ebbs away and you begin to feel normal again. If you find yourself well into your fourth month and you are concerned that you are still feeling very tired, check in with your doctor. Some women stay tired throughout their pregnancy. However, you will want to rule out anemia or depression as causes of sluggishness. Most often, the tiredness passes during the middle three months of your pregnancy until the final trimester, when it makes a comeback. The added weight of baby begins to tire you more. Sleeping at night can be a challenge for any number of reasons, from leg cramps, heartburn, and potty breaks to a baby who sleeps during the day and plays all night.

How To Keep Those Peepers Open

So, how are you going to make it through without toothpicks to prop your eyelids open? You can start by paying attention to what your body is telling you. Instead of trying to last until the late-night news, go to bed earlier and take a nap during the day if you feel you need it. If you are at work, a quick 15-minute catnap can take the edge off and give you a boost. If it is possible for you to take work home with you, you will have time to rest whenever you feel the need. You can also rework your schedule and make yourself less busy. Just say no to some of the demands and give yourself permission to let the housework slide for a day or two.

Exercise?  Are You Kidding?

This will sound like any oxymoron, but exercise is a real key to energy enhancement. You ask how you can exercise when you can't even muster the energy to climb the stairs. Actually, short walks in the fresh air can do wonders and make you feel better. Stretch-and-breathe breaks are also a great way to restore energy. Compliment everything with a healthy diet, one full of fresh fruit, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean meats. Remember you need about 300 calories more per day than you did before you got pregnant to provide the energy for your baby and yourself. Just be sure to get those extra calories from healthy sources!

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