A lack of energy during pregnancy is a common frustration experienced by many expecting mothers. The extent to which you experience a lack of energy will vary from woman to woman and may be different from pregnancy to pregnancy.
The first trimester is most commonly when a lack of energy is experienced; however, it is also common during the third trimester. Many women report that they feel less tired during the second trimester.
Lack of Energy During the First Trimester
A lack of energy during pregnancy is often triggered by the hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy. The primary hormone affecting this change in energy levels is progesterone. In addition, the increased blood flow during pregnancy decreases your blood pressure, and this is also thought to be a contributing factor to lower energy levels during the first trimester.
Your emotional health and wellness may also lead you to experience a lack of energy while pregnant. Stress, mood swings, or anxiety, which all tend to increase with the onset of pregnancy, can cause you to feel mentally exhausted. Unfortunately, each of these factors are a normal part of pregnancy, which makes a lack of energy normal as well.
Lack of Energy During the Second Trimester
More than likely you will have noticed an increase in your energy levels as the second trimester approaches. However, do not give yourself a hard time if you are one of the many women who continue to experience a lack of energy while pregnant in the second trimester.
An increase in energy levels during the second trimester is often what leads expecting mothers to take advantage of this time by baby planning, setting up the nursery, and shopping for things your baby will need.
Lack of Energy During the Third Trimester
Experiencing a lack of energy during the third trimester should be anticipated. Your baby is really growing, your body is changing, and you are having to exert more energy to get things done. This extra effort will easily drain your existent energy and leave you feeling tired or exhausted. Getting adequate sleep may also be more challenging as your body changes and your baby grows.
The lack of quality sleep can leave you with less energy and feeling tired.
How to Manage a Lack of Energy During Pregnancy
There are a few things you can do to help counteract a lack of energy. You may find that some of these tips work for you, but more than likely you will want to incorporate all possible steps to give you the best chance for feeling more energetic.
Here are steps you can take:
Sleep, Naps, and Rest
Give yourself the freedom to take naps or bed rest as you experience these moments of low energy while pregnant. Go to bed early or sleep in. If you are working, you might take your lunch hour or breaks for quick cat naps.
Change Your Schedule
Limit activities or give yourself freedom to say “no” to new responsibilities. You can also speak to your boss about possibly shortening your day or extending an afternoon break for more rest.
Alter Exercise Plans
Exercise is good for both you and your baby. However, it is possible that you are overdoing it and draining your energy. You might find changing your exercise routine or limiting some of your workouts increases your energy. Talk to your healthcare provider before you quit exercising as the benefits likely outweigh a drain on energy levels.
Well balanced nutrition also contributes to energy levels. Nutrients such as protein, iron and the calories that come with them invest in your energy levels. Eating unhealthy or eating an abundance of carbohydrates and starches can reduce your energy.
Compiled using information from the following sources:
Roger W. Harms, M.D., E.-I.-C. Mayo clinic: Guide to a healthy pregnancy. USA: American Academy of Pediatrics.
American Pregnancy Association, Early Stages of Pregnancy – Early Pregnancy Symptoms http://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/early-pregnancy-symptoms/