Because of the many changes the body is going through and the fluctuation of hormones, being tired during pregnancy is often expected. In fact, it is one of the biggest struggles women face and complain about during pregnancy. Being tired does not just refer to being sleepy, but also to a general feeling of fatigue or loss of energy. Unfortunately, this feeling can also exacerbate some of the other symptoms of pregnancy and therefore is one of the more draining parts of being pregnant.
Why am I so tired during pregnancy?
Pregnant women find they are most tired during the 1st and 3rd trimesters. During the first trimester, hormones are rising and your body is adjusting to providing a healthy environment for your baby. Also, your mind may be racing with thoughts of excitement, anxiety and how to prepare for the birth. During the third trimester, your body is physically fatigued from the extra weight and for those who are still working full time or are pregnant during the middle of summer, these factors contribute as well.
Some women report having very vivid, and even scary, dreams during pregnancy. Most often, these dreams begin to occur during the third trimester. The best explained theory as to why these dreams occur is simply because of the anxiety a new mother faced about how healthy her baby will be and whether she’ll be able to care for him or her as she wants. Having these kinds of dreams can lead to restlessness and a poor quality of sleep. It’s important to know these dreams can be normal and do not mean anything is wrong. If you have trouble with vivid and frightening dreams, talk with your healthcare provider.
Another cause of being tired during pregnancy is poor eating and exercise habits, along with poor mental health. Be sure to pay attention to the foods you are eating and how they affect your mood and your physical well-being. Getting the proper nutrition and exercise can allow your body to rest as fully as it needs to and therefore aid in getting plenty of rest. This is also true for your level of stress and anxiety. If you find that you are constantly focusing on matters about your pregnancy that worry you, seek support from your family and loved ones. And if you need to, talk with your healthcare provider.
How can I be less tired during pregnancy
Unfortunately, there is no real “fix” for being tired during pregnancy other than getting as much rest as possible. This may be more difficult for women who are working or are already moms on the go. But taking time to yourself and ensuring you get some relaxation is crucial for staying healthy and comfortable throughout your pregnancy. Also, taking care of both your physical and your mental health can be key to helping you feel less tired during pregnancy.
The following suggestions could help you get more rest and feel more energized throughout your pregnancy:
- Diet – The way you eat can definitely affect how your body functions and the level of energy you have. Choosing a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of protein, carbohydrates and fruits and vegetable will ensure you will get the nutrients your body needs to function at its best.
- Exercise – Keeping a regular fitness routine can also help your body maintain its energy level. For detailed information about exercise guidelines during pregnancy, click here.
- Vitamins – Prenatal vitamins are a vital part of a healthy pregnancy and can help your energy level by providing essential nutrients you may not be getting otherwise. Click here to get information on prenatal vitamins.
- Sleeping positions – We are often unaware of how our sleeping positions can affect the quality sleep we are getting. With pregnancy especially, the body can become restless while sleeping if it is not positioned comfortably. If you are having a difficult time getting comfortable when lying down to rest, visit this page for suggestions.
- Relaxation – Feeling less tired isn’t just about not being sleepy, but also living with less stress and taking some “me time” to relax. When you find yourself getting overwhelmed with the feeling of pregnancy in addition to other aspects of your life, give yourself permission to stop and take a break. Whether this means taking 30 minutes to sit and daydream or taking an entire day off work, allow yourself to enjoy it.
Compiled using information from the following sources:
Roger W. Harms, M.D., E.-I.-C. (2004). Mayo clinic: Guide to a healthy pregnancy. USA: American Academy of Pediatrics.