Pregnancy is sort of like climbing a mountain or running a marathon (without having trained), while carrying a backpack that weighs a little more every day — in other words, it’s hard work! During the first trimester of pregnancy, a huge amount of energy goes into building a life-support system for your baby (namely the placenta). In the third trimester of pregnancy, fatigue returns as your growing fetus puts more demands on your body — and as sleep becomes more elusive. Also to blame, all that mood upheaval — riding the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy can be exhausting. It’s no wonder you’re pooped!
By the end of the first trimester, your body will have completed the Herculean task of manufacturing the placenta and grown a bit more used to the hormonal and emotional changes that have occurred. The second trimester is usually a time of renewed energy, but beware: Fatigue could return with a vengeance in the last trimester.
Pregnancy Fatigue — What You Can Do About It
Listen to your body. If you’re tired, rest. Pace yourself, keeping your body’s message in mind — and don’t try to be super (expectant) mom. Let the dishes wait until later, and turn the other way as the dust bunnies breed under your dining table. Don’t book activities — or take care of chores — that aren’t essential. Never been a napper — or a slacker? There’s never been a better time to try those on for size.
Ask for help. Don’t play the mother-to-be martyr. Let your partner know exactly how sapped you are, so he can do his fair share (and then some). If your friends or family ask if they can give you a hand, say yes — always! Having a pal pick up some groceries for you can mean you might actually have enough energy left to drag yourself out for a walk (before you drag yourself into bed).
Get more sleep. If you’re perpetually sleepy, make a point of getting more sleep (yes, that might be a “duh” — but that doesn’t mean you’ve been complying). If at all possible, go to bed earlier, or stay in bed later — or both.
Eat right. To keep your energy up, you need a steady supply of premium fuel. Follow the Pregnancy Diet, focusing on long-lasting energy boosters, such as protein and complex carbohydrates. Also make sure you’re getting enough calories (which may be easier said than done if morning sickness has you down — but is definitely worth the effort). Caffeine or sugar (or both) may seem like the perfect quick fix for an energy slump, but don’t be fooled into reaching for that chocolate bar or Caramel Frap — the jolt they’ll give you will be followed by a free-falling crash, making you feel more tired than ever.