What is Good for Pregnancy Fatigue? Here are the Methods

If you are pregnant and tired, you are not alone.

Studies show that 90 percent of women experience pregnancy fatigue, especially in the first trimester, although it regresses in the third trimester. [1] Some women experience it all three!

While most parents expect they will feel tired when the baby arrives, the intense and persistent fatigue that many women experience during pregnancy may come as a surprise.

While it can feel frustrating, pregnancy fatigue is a good sign, which at times can also have a debilitating effect. It indicates that your body is producing the hormones needed to lead a new life. Let’s learn more about the causes and natural remedies for pregnancy fatigue.

What Causes Fatigue During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy brings many changes to your body, and some of these changes can make you feel tired. Some common causes of pregnancy fatigue include:

Hormonal Changes

Shortly after conception, your body experiences a sharp rise in the hormone progesterone, which causes daytime sleepiness. [2] Your body requires high levels of progesterone to maintain a healthy pregnancy, especially in the first 10 weeks. After that, the placenta takes over and makes enough progesterone to support your pregnancy – which gives most women their energy back in the second 3 months. [3]

Increase in Blood Volume

During pregnancy, your body produces more blood that supports the developing placenta and carries essential nutrients into your blood to your baby. [4] As a result, your heart must pump harder and faster, increasing blood flow to the baby and to your extremities, which can lead to physical fatigue. Your blood pressure is also low, especially in the first trimester.

Nausea

High chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels that occur in early pregnancy can cause nausea. [5] Persistent morning sickness can drain you and make it difficult to eat – which lowers your energy levels. Women who experience more frequent nausea and morning sickness often have higher levels of fatigue.

Low Iron

Anemia caused by low iron levels usually occurs late in pregnancy, but can develop earlier, especially if you have had previous pregnancies. [6]

Extra Weight

Carrying extra weight can make you tired. Extra baby weight usually occurs in mid-pregnancy as your baby grows.

9 Natural Ways to Combat Pregnancy Fatigue

You can fight your pregnancy fatigue in simple and healthy ways. These ideas will give you the energy you need to feel better and get through the day.

1. Daily Exercise

Although it may seem like an impossible feat when you’re feeling tired, a daily exercise routine can boost your energy levels. Maintaining a consistent and healthy exercise routine throughout your pregnancy can help prevent the typical aches and fatigues of pregnancy, including backaches, varicose veins and constipation.

Exercising for 30 minutes a day is all you need to combat fatigue!

Exercise not only improves your mood as it releases endorphins, it also promotes better sleep. [7]

Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day, but change this recommendation based on how often you exercise and your doctor’s recommendations. If you’re feeling very tired, even a short walk or some prenatal yoga can be rejuvenating.

2. Sleep Well

Good sleep hygiene is important at all stages of pregnancy. You are creating a new life and your body will need more rest to accommodate the hormonal and physical changes you are experiencing. Especially in the first trimester, most women need more sleep than usual. [8]

Aim for 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night, but listen to your body. You may need more bedtime!

Do your best to go to bed early enough so you can get eight to nine hours of sleep each night. Take advantage of any downtime when you can sleep when needed; Even 15 to 20-minute naps can be so youthful that you can skip over the rest of the day. If you’re having trouble sleeping, there are a few natural remedies to help you.

3. Drink Lots of Water

When you’re pregnant, your body needs more water than usual to support you and your growing baby. Dehydration can worsen fatigue, lightheadedness, and nausea.

Did you know that pregnant women should drink an additional 10 ounces on top of their normal daily water intake?

In general, experts recommend that pregnant women drink an extra 300 ml of water each day, which is their daily water consumption (we recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces per day). Try to drink about 10 glasses each day to stay hydrated. [9]

4. Follow a Balanced Diet Plan

Eating a healthy diet is more important than ever, as your body requires more calories and also needs additional calcium, iron, and other essential vitamins and minerals. [10] The foods you eat provide essential nutrients for you as well as your baby. For maximum nutrition, consume snacks consisting of healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes.

A daily dose of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables can alleviate morning sickness!

If you experience morning sickness, eat small, nutrient-dense snacks such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes throughout the day. This prevents the blood sugar level from falling too low while raising your energy levels.

5. Get Enough Iron

Iron deficiency during pregnancy can make you feel tired and exhausted and even lead to anemia. Generally, pregnant women need 20 to 30 mg of iron per day; You may find it difficult to get it from your diet alone. [10]

If you have low iron levels, take a natural, plant-based iron supplement. Your body absorbs plant-based iron more slowly, which helps maintain normal iron balance, resulting in fewer health problems.

6. Limit Caffeine

You may think caffeine will help your fatigue, but most people experience more stable energy levels when they don’t regularly consume caffeine or coffee. Although the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has found that caffeine consumption is safe during pregnancy (about 1 cup of coffee per day), some people like to cut back completely.

If you attend, limit your consumption, especially later in the day. [11] The stimulating effects of caffeine can harm your sleep quality and keep your body wired even when you’re sleepy. If you want to completely get rid of your morning cup of coffee, check out our coffee alternatives article.

7. Relax

Pregnancy is hard work! Your body requires more water and nutrients, produces more blood, and your heart rate rises, all to fuel the life inside you. On top of that, hormones cause fluctuations in your body, which can make you anxious or heighten your emotions. [12]

Relax when you can find time to relax. Pregnancy can be really tiring for you!

If you are tired, listen to your body and rest. Keep your demands on yourself low and your expectations realistic; When you’re pregnant, you can’t always take on all the responsibilities you normally do. Know that this is totally fine and relax whenever possible.

8. Ask for Help

Ask for help when you need it. If you work inside or outside the home or have children, the demands can sometimes be too much. Pushing yourself too hard is a surefire way to make yourself look even more tired.

Never hesitate to ask for help.

Know that it’s okay to ask for help – call family members and friends and ask them to buy food or take their kids out for a walk. Ask your partner to do more than their fair share to help lighten your load. Be honest about how you feel when you need rest and be open with others.

Talk to Your Doctor

If the tips above haven’t helped you increase your energy levels, or if you’re extremely tired, consult your healthcare provider for advice. They may want to check your iron levels to determine if you suffer from iron deficiency anemia, which is common in pregnancy, or another medical condition that causes fatigue, such as hypothyroidism or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Your healthcare provider will definitely want you to take a high-quality multivitamin to ensure you’re getting enough of all the essential vitamins and minerals you need, along with your growing baby.

Fatigue During the Whole Pregnancy?

The short answer for most people is no. While there are exceptions to every rule, pregnancy fatigue usually occurs during the first trimester. Fortunately, most women notice an increase in their energy levels once they enter the second trimester. This typically continues into the third trimester. Many women start to feel tired again in the last two months of pregnancy.

By the end of your pregnancy, your growing belly and increase in weight can put a strain on your body, bringing back physical fatigue as well as fatigue.

Insomnia can also occur during pregnancy, especially in the last weeks when your big belly can make it hard to relax – not to mention frequent urination can cause you to wake up more often. [13]

Can Fatigue During Pregnancy Affect the Baby?

Even if you are tired, your tiredness does not affect your baby’s health.

No matter how tired you may feel during your pregnancy, your tiredness will not harm or affect your baby. While your burnout won’t affect your baby, remember that during pregnancy your body has to work harder than usual and needs more rest to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Rest when you can and make your sleep a priority – aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night.

Points to Remember

Pregnancy fatigue is a common experience for women; In fact, one study found that 90 percent of pregnant women felt fatigued during the first trimester. While you can’t find a magic solution to make you feel your best like you did before pregnancy, you can take action to feel more energetic.

Some helpful suggestions for reducing fatigue include rest, eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep each night.

Try to cut it short if possible. Take less responsibility at work and at home, and learn when to seek help. Have enough snacks on hand – fruits, vegetables and healthy carbohydrates can give you a much-needed boost of energy.

Pregnancy can feel magical as you prepare to meet your new baby, but it comes with challenges. Be gentle with yourself, set realistic expectations, and accept that you need more rest with life growing inside you.

With these and other simple ideas, you can gain even more energy during these exciting but challenging few months!

GlobalHealingCenter, 9 Natural Ways to Ease Pregnancy Fatigue, 2019

References

  1. Reeves N, et al. Fatigue in early pregnancy. An exploratory study. J Nurse Midwifery. 1991 Sep-Oct;36(5):303-309.
  2. Won CHJ. Sleeping for two: the great paradox of sleep in pregnancy. J Clin SleepMed. 2015 Jun 15;11(6):593-594.
  3. Burton GJ, Jauniaux E. Development of the human placenta and fetal heart: synergic or independent?Front Physiol. 2018;9:373.
  4. Hytten F. Blood volume changes in normal pregnancy. Clin Haematol. 1985 Oct;14(3):601–612.
  5. Lee NM, Saha S. Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2011 Jun;40(2):309–334.
  6. McMahon LP. Iron deficiency in pregnancy. Obstet Med. 2010 Mar; 3(1):17–24.
  7. Varrassi G, et al. Effects of physical activity on maternal plasma beta-endorphin levels and perception of labor pain. AmJ Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Mar;160(3):707–712.
  8. Reichner CA. Insomnia and sleep deficiency in pregnancy. Obstet Med. 2015 Dec; 8(4):168–171.
  9. Montgomery KS. Nutrition column an ​​update on water needs during pregnancy and beyond. J Perinat Educ. 2002 Summer;11(3):40–42.
  10. Marangoni F, et al. Maternal diet and nutrient requirements in pregnancy and breastfeeding. An Italian consensus document. Nutrients. 2016 Oct;8(10):629.
  11. Nutrition During Pregnancy Frequently Asked Question. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Feb 2018. Accessed 2 Dec 2018.
  12. Buckwalter JG, et al. Pregnancy and postpartum: changes in cognition and mood. Prog Brain Res. 2001;133:303–319.
  13. Mindell JA, et al. Sleep patterns and sleep disturbances across pregnancy. SleepMed. 2015 Apr;16(4):483–488.

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