22 February 2019
You are pregnant and you feel so exhausted and weak that even making a coffee sounds like climbing Mount Everest? Don’t worry, because fatigue is a completely normal condition and the majority of pregnant women go through it.
Fatigue is most common in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy because this is when your body changes and starts adapting to the development phases of an embryo.
This is when the placenta, the main source of life-support for your baby, is growing. There are also other reasons why you are feeling so tired.
Firstly, the level of progesterone in your body increases while blood pressure may go down and when these two combine, they make for a partial culprit for exhaustion in the first trimester.
Secondly, if you find it difficult to sleep due to frequent toilet visits or feelings of nausea, which means not getting enough sleep, this is directly related to your tiredness.
Your feelings of exhaustion are so strong that you think it is impossible to bear them any longer.
As unpleasant and endless as they seem, there are some things you can do to improve your stamina and effectiveness.
Although it is very hard to take the first steps of fighting the fatigue, be persistent as it would be greatly beneficial for you and your baby.
Here are some ways you can reduce tiredness and increase your productivity and energy:
First of all, try to get as much sleep as possible. Don’t let your habits prevent you from going earlier to bed if that is what your body wants.
If you’re sleepy at 8 or 9 pm, it’s completely normal to say goodnight to your family. Try not to schedule meet-ups with your friends late in the evening, especially if you’ve been feeling tired lately. You can move your social meetings to breakfasts or lunches – your friends will understand.
Also, take naps. 15-min naps can be miraculous. Although you might think 15 minutes is too short, it has the ability to reset your mind and body – and provide you with a certain amount of drive and strength.
If you are a working mommy-to-be and there are no relax rooms at your place of work, take short breaks and do nothing – lean against the back of the chair and just close your eyes.
This is so important during any pregnancy – you need to pay attention to what you feed yourself and your baby by following a well balanced, nutritional diet.
Introducing certain foods into your diet will help you stay energized and get through another exhausting day.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre, giving you a sufficient amount of natural sugars that will boost your energy levels.
Some foods that should definitely be on your diet list are red peppers, blueberries, avocado, and walnuts.
In spite of the feelings of sickness that the majority of pregnant women endure, and the fact that eating is the last word you want to hear, bear in mind that an empty stomach is the worst solution.
Eating regularly and often will make a crucial impact on how you feel.
One great way to ensure this? Make sure you always have some healthy homemade snacks on hand.
Apart from healthy food, adequate hydration is also paramount to keeping those first trimester feelings of exhaustion away.
Keep your body hydrated, because when you are dehydrated, the fluid loss causes a drop in your blood volume, which causes your heart to work harder to push oxygen and nutrients through your bloodstream – causing fatigue.
The recommended daily intake of water is higher in pregnant women and since most people do not drink enough fluids, what you can do to ensure that your water intake is satisfactory is to have a bottle of water always by your side and sip often instead of gulping huge amounts of water at one go.
Stop sitting around at home watching soap operas, staring at your screen at work all day long, or using your phone mindlessly. Get outdoors and start doing some physical exercise to get your blood flowing.
Light physical activities are rejuvenating. The easiest thing you can do is to take a walk with your partner or a friend.
Whenever you have a chance, walk to a supermarket, the grocery shop, avoid driving or taking the lift whenever it is possible.
When you are at work, go out for a short walk or go to a restaurant for lunch instead of having your food delivered.
Another amazing suggestion is taking yoga classes. Prenatal yoga benefits your body in so many ways. It relieves the lower back tension and the pressure you feel in shoulders, neck, and hips. It also creates a positive impact on your nervous system – you are calmer and more relaxed. This is due to the parasympathetic mode that is on when you start breathing deeply.
Some of the benefits of yoga include maintaining an optimal immune system, better quality of sleep, and proper digestive system function.
However, if you do not feel like going out at all, there are always household chores that can keep you busy. Just be careful not to lift anything heavy or to do anything that requires intense physical activity.
Also, bear in mind that there will be days when you simply cannot lift a finger, let alone exercise. That is completely fine, embrace those days and try some mindful meditation or gratitude exercises.
Lastly, this is a period when you should pamper yourself as much as you can. This is when you start connecting with your baby, and nothing should come in between.
Although the first trimester can be extremely difficult and frustrating in terms of seemingly never-ending fatigue and weakness, hang in there, because it will eventually be over.
Your second trimester will come soon and that is when you are going to have more stamina and energy for everything that you had to postpone before.
Should you need to consult a gynaecologist in Singapore regarding any of your pregnancy matters, feel free to learn more about our specialists.