Exhaustion During Pregnancy

It's normal to feel more tired than normal while pregnant. In fact, most women find they need a great deal more sleep, and this happens the most during the first and last trimesters.

The good news is some moms have a big energy boost during the second three months, when they stop feeling as sick.

It's hard work making a baby

  • Supporting the new life inside of you takes a toll on your whole body.
  • You may feel most tired during the first three months, when you're building the placenta that feeds your baby.
  • The hormones and chemicals flowing through your body while pregnant can make you feel sleepy and less lively.
  • Many women may have low blood pressure because their blood is circulating through two systems - mom's and baby's - which can make you feel even more tired.

What can I do to help ward off this tired feeling?

Adjust your day

  • Whatever you can do to make sleep a priority will help.
  • Go to bed earlier, even if it means leaving dishes in the sink until the next day.
  • If you can, work from home once in a while so you can sleep in a little later, or take work home so you can leave work earlier.

Ask for help

  • If someone else can take your toddler to school so you can sleep in an extra 20 minutes, make the most of the offer.

Get extra rest

  • Take a nap when you can.
  • Keep in mind that you don't have to sleep to rest.
  • Many moms find that lying down as soon as they get home from work can help a lot.
  • Stretch out on the couch for 20 minutes when you first walk in the door. You'll find you have more energy for dinner and evening plans.

Eat well for energy

  • Carbs and snack foods can lead to quick bursts of energy followed by crashes.
  • If your weight was normal before you became pregnant, you'll now need at least 300 extra calories a day, and more if you work out.

Make sleep count

  • You may be sleeping more lightly now that you're pregnant. Noises, lights and other disturbances may bother you.
  • Hang special shades to darken the room, wear earplugs or use a pillow to ease your back - whatever makes your sleep more restful.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, make a list of what's bothering you or read for a few minutes, then try to sleep again.
  • After all, soon you'll be woken up every few hours, so this is just your body's way of helping you get used to it.

Protect your time

  • If going out makes you tired, try to spend your nights at home to relax your body.
  • If you feel great, it's fine to enjoy some nights out - just avoid drinking and smoking.

Working out

  • Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can help boost your energy level and keep your muscles limber.
  • Experts say even taking a short walk or doing some stretches during the day will help you sleep better at night.
  • Exercising releases tension, eases back and joint pain and gets your heart rate up, all of which will also help you sleep.
  • Be sure to check with your doctor before you begin any new workout.

[references] Copyright © 2010 LimeHealth

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