You are pregnant and ready to shout it from the rooftops, but instead, all you can seem to think about is the comfort of your bed and when your next nap will take place. Is this normal? YES! Overnight, your body has embarked on the daunting and exhausting task of creating human life. It is a big job taking lots of time and energy, and for those go-getter moms not used to slowing down, this fatigue can come as a big surprise. So, what exactly is stealing your concentration and burning your energy at lightning speed?
- Hormones – Progesterone levels are on the rise.
- Increased blood volume – Your blood volume has doubled to ensure your baby is getting the nutrients it needs to grow. Your heart is pumping harder and stronger to accommodate this increase. This in turn increases your metabolism and lowers your blood sugar and blood pressure, adding to your fatigue.
- Anemia – Iron levels can drop in pregnancy, resulting in iron-deficiency anemia. Your provider will check your iron levels in the beginning of your pregnancy.
Take heart, mama! With the second trimester, a burst of energy will come, allowing you to feel more like yourself. In the meantime, do not feel ashamed or guilty of pampering you and your growing baby.
- Sleep – Make an effort to go to bed early and take naps when you can.
- Adjust your schedule – Do not try to fill every waking minute of your day with work and tasks. Recognize the things that can wait until tomorrow, pace yourself and rest!
- Eat right and eat often – Protein and complex carbohydrates are your friends. Start your day with protein and eat small, frequent meals to help stabilize your blood sugar. Try to resist caffeine or that midafternoon caramel Frappuccino as it will only cause your blood sugar to crash, leaving you feeling even more tired.
- Exercise – Working out is probably the last thing on your mind right now, but a brisk 20-minute walk or yoga routine will actually feel more rejuvenating than sitting on the sofa. You will release endorphins that help you feel great and also sleep better!
- Stay hydrated – Water, water, water! Again, resist caffeine, which will only dehydrate you. If frequent urination is keeping you up at night, stop fluids a few hours before bedtime.
Hang in there, mama! Do not let your fatigue steal your pregnancy joy. You are creating life, and this is definitely something to celebrate.