As if you won’t be tired enough when your baby arrives, fatigue tends to set in very early in pregnancy for most women. You may have heard of the “First-Trimester Fatigue,” but the yawning and eye-rubbing can last longer than the first three months.
No pregnant woman has time to be that tired. So instead of dragging your swollen feet through another exhausting day, be proactive and try to beat the fatigue. Here are some factors to consider if you are feeling overly tired:
Sleep Positions: A big belly is a stomach-sleepers worst nightmare. Sleep experts recommend pregnant women start sleeping on their left side early in pregnancy. Sleeping on your back while pregnant puts the extra weight of your uterus on your back. This can cause muscle aches, poor circulation and sleep apnea.
Pregnancy pillows can be helpful to stay comfortable on your side. Brands like Boppy and Snoogle make pillows that support your belly and entire body pillows you can spoon for belly and knee support.
Medications: Always ask your OB/GYN before taking any kind of sleep aid. Melatonin is controversial for use during pregnancy, so discuss the possible effects with your doctor before deciding what is best for you.
Take your Prenatal Vitamin! The nutrients you get from a prenatal vitamin do wonders for the development of your baby, but can benefit mommy’s energy level as well. If you need financial help, certain Meijer pharmacies provide free prenatal vitamins with a doctor’s prescription.
Sleep Schedule: Save the housework for the weekend and relax after work. Start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual and you can gradually move up your bedtime until you find a good schedule.
Nap when you can. If you can sneak a 20-minute power nap in to your day, it can make a difference. Your body is using a great deal of energy to grow a person, so don’t feel guilty for propping your feet up whenever you can.
Exercise: Stand up to stretch, try prenatal yoga, or take a walk every evening. Exercise may help you feel better immediately and also help you sleep better at night.
Diet: Stock your fridge with the good stuff. That is, the good-for-you stuff:
- Protein- Milk, cheese, eggs, lean meats, nuts and seeds.
- Complex Carbs- Fresh or dried fruits, vegetables, whole-grain crackers and breads, and baked potatoes with skin on,
- Iron- Cereals, spinach, red meat and cooked dried beans.
Fatigue is usually caused by a combination of things for pregnanct women. Hormonal changes are a main culprit, as well as a lack of sleep from middle of the night bathroom trips.
Nausea and vomiting zap energy levels, as does dehydration. Your doctor should check you for iron-deficiency if you feel excessively tired.
Depression is not uncommon in pregnant women, and fatigue is a symptom of that. Let someone know if you feel sad or hopeless and get the help you and your baby need.