The well-being of expectant mothers is very different from that of a normal woman because the body is undergoing serious strain. Fatigue in pregnant women is a common companion. In this article, you will find out when malaise, drowsiness and fatigue are most severe and how to deal with these symptoms correctly.
Sleepiness can occur early in pregnancy – sometimes even before your period is due. In the first weeks, it often begins:
- a constant desire to sleep – your eyes literally close even during the day;
- dizziness, weakness, lethargy;
- aching sensations in the body (sometimes a fever may rise);
- headaches, darkening of the eyes (if you have low blood pressure);
- cold sensations in the legs;
- severe fatigue;
- loss of appetite;
- nausea, sometimes vomiting.
Generally feeling less energy and strength, like lying down in silence, hard to work. Sleepiness and fatigue do not occur in all pregnant women, but are common. Sometimes the signs are similar to those that occur before your period.
Causes of drowsiness in pregnancy
Fatigue occurs mainly due to the effects of hormones and increased stress. The body in this way signals the expectant mother that she needs more rest, take care to safely carry the baby. The main reasons are related to changes that happen in the first trimester.
During the early term
The main reasons for tiredness and sleepiness in pregnant women:
Placenta formation. The body expends a lot of energy to build up the fetal life support system. During this time, the woman constantly wants to sleep;
Hormonal changes. Under the influence of progesterone, which is responsible for the maintenance of pregnancy, the blood pressure drops. This leads to lethargy, sleepiness and weakness;
Iron deficiency anemia. Mums-to-be have a greatly increased need for iron. In this case, weakness, shortness of breath and pale skin may occur;
Increased metabolism. Metabolism accelerates, protein consumption increases, blood pressure decreases – the woman feels weaker than usual and wants to sleep more often.
Fatigue and lethargy are related to the fact that the woman needs to nourish the fetus’s body fully. Other reasons for tiredness are high or low blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, heightened emotional and physical activity, acute and chronic respiratory diseases, anemia, toxicosis. In the last weeks, the pregnant woman may feel worse because of swelling and discomfort in the back, legs and frequent urination.
How long does it last
As a rule, the beginning of pregnancy is characterised by a strong desire to sleep, weakness and increased fatigue. During the first, second and third trimesters, the condition may change – most often the unpleasant symptoms become less pronounced. In some people there are no signs at all.
How does fatigue and sleepiness manifest itself during the first, second, third trimester?
Hormonal changes start in the body of the pregnant woman, the circulatory system is rebuilt and the load on the heart is increased. In the first weeks of pregnancy, progesterone is produced, acts on blood vessels and may lower blood pressure. Because of this, drowsiness in early pregnancy is most pronounced.
By 12-13 weeks, the body adapts to the changes and the placenta is completed. In the second trimester, you usually feel better and the lethargy and constant desire to sleep subsides, and sometimes it goes away completely.
The condition may worsen again in the late term. Due to the large weight of the foetus and the heavy strain on the body, the mother-to-be often feels weak, tired and wants to lie down or sleep. Here it is important to rule out more serious factors – anaemia, gestosis and other pregnancy pathologies. It is also important to relax properly, both early and late in pregnancy, and to follow your doctor’s recommendations to help you feel at your best.
How to beat pregnancy fatigue
From the early months of pregnancy, it is important to slow down and take care of yourself. Useful tips to help manage unpleasant symptoms and overcome fatigue:
- Get as much rest as possible. Lie down more often, trying to lift your legs. This reduces uterine tone, helps you relax and improves venous outflow.
- Ask for help. Don’t try to do all the housework yourself – get your husband or relatives to help with the cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping;
- Make sure you have a daily routine. It is logical that if you want to sleep, you should do it. Try to take a nap during the day and go to bed early in the evening – do not tolerate excessive sleepiness without an urgent need (if you, for example, are not at work);
- Eat right. Eat more protein, complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fruit. Minimise sweets and caffeine – these foods only worsen the condition;
- Don’t give up. Light exercise and frequent walks in the fresh air will invigorate you and help combat lethargy and fatigue;
- Avoid stress. You don’t want any emotional upheaval. For the sake of the future child should refuse to communicate with people you don’t like, excessive loads at work.
- Magnesium products and vitamins can sometimes help you cope with fatigue. Before taking these, however, you should talk to your doctor.
When to talk to a doctor or midwife
If the sleepiness is very severe, does not go away and does not diminish by the second and third trimester, every day there is an absolute loss of energy, be sure to draw this to the attention of your doctor.
If you have a fever, high blood pressure, shortness of breath or severe dizziness, contact your doctor immediately.
It is also important to tell your doctor if you experience panic attacks, apathy or depression. Take care of yourself and your baby and your pregnancy will go well!