It’s not uncommon for pregnant mothers to feel tired during pregnancy. But no one ever wants to be tired all the time, which is why I regularly get the question of “What can I do to decrease my fatigue?” My answer is always, focus on good sleep, 40 minutes of exercise 4 to 5 days a week, leave the bedroom only for sleep and sex, and create a consistent routine (warm bath, mint tea for example).
When Does Fatigue During Pregnancy Occur?
- You can suffer from fatigue throughout your entire pregnancy; but the majority of women experience fatigued during the first and third trimesters. Causes of fatigue during your first trimester include:
- A sharp increase in progesterone level, which makes bodily functions like metabolism and digestion slow down, increasing the feeling of tiredness
- Continued sleep interruptions because of an increased need to urinate
- Lack of nutrition and dehydration resulting from the nausea and vomiting of morning sickness
Causes Of Fatigue In Your Third Trimester Include:
- Insomnia resulting from symptoms of pregnancy, like backache, leg cramps and bloating
- Increased body weight and the growth of the baby interferes with your posture and adds to the feeling of tiredness
- Deficiencies in iron and Vitamin B
How Does Exercise Help Relieve Fatigue?
One of the best methods to relieve fatigue during pregnancy is mild exercise because it increases blood flow to the muscles, which boosts energy, helps improve posture and improves the quality of your nighttime sleep. You should exercise 40 minutes a day for four or five days per week. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend walking as a good way for all pregnant women to exercise. The College also advises swimming because it exercises many muscle groups and is low impact. Cycling provides an aerobic workout to keep your lungs and heart strong and is also low impact.
While it is important to get plenty of exercise, be sure it is the right kind. Exercises or sports activities that pose an increased risk of falling should be avoided because your balance changes when you are pregnant.
Other Factors To Be Mindful Of When Exercising Are:
- Avoiding exercising in hot, humid weather
- Wearing lose-fitting, comfortable clothing to keep you from becoming overheated
- Wearing a bra that provides enough support
- Drinking enough water to avoid becoming dehydrated
What Other Ways Can You Prevent The Feeling Of Fatigue?
- Focus on restful sleep – If you don’t get enough restful sleep at night because of symptoms of pregnancy, then try taking a nap during the day.
- Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex – Your bedroom shouldn’t be the place to watch movies, play video games or surf the Internet. These activities will only add to your inability to relax and fall asleep.
- Maintain a consistent bedtime routine – If you keep a nightly routine, for example a warm bath, a cup of mint tea and then bed, you will train your body that it is time to relax and fall asleep.
- Be sure you are eating a nourishing diet – Vitamin/nutrient deficiencies increase fatigue, that’s why it is important to eat a well-balanced diet and take any prenatal vitamins prescribed by your ob-gyn doctor.
- Drink plenty of fluids – Dehydration also interferes with restful sleep and increases fatigue.