Why do you feel so tired during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a fantastic experience – you’re growing a little human inside of you and the bond you can feel between you and your unborn baby can often be incredible. But pregnancy can sometimes be very tiring, especially in the first trimester and again as you approach your due date in the third trimester.
Tiredness is a common symptom in early pregnancy – often one of the first symptoms you may experience in the first few months. This is because your body is working overtime to create and support the new life growing inside of you as well as all the changes in your own body that come as a result of pregnancy.
Aside from growing an entire human being in your belly, your hormone levels have increased, your blood production has increased, your blood pressure is lower, your blood sugar levels are lower, and you’re likely experiencing disturbed sleep patterns and possibly even nausea – all of which will contribute to fatigue and feeling tired during pregnancy.
How long will I feel tired for during pregnancy?
There is no definitive answer to how long you’ll feel tired for during pregnancy, as every pregnancy is different. But most pregnant women see the fatigue and exhaustion they experienced at the start of pregnancy fade a little as they move into the second trimester, after around 12-14 weeks of pregnancy. Unfortunately, the tiredness normally returns in the third trimester as you approach your due date.
How can I feel less tired during pregnancy and boost my energy levels?
First things first, if you’re feeling tired or exhausted at any stage during your pregnancy, that is your body telling you that you need to rest. So, the first thing you should do if you’re feeling the effects of fatigue is to try and rest more and get as much sleep as you can – aim for at least 8 hours sleep at night, and if you’re feeling tired during the day then take a nap if you can, as long as it isn’t too late in the day and won’t affect your natural sleep cycle.
Limit your caffeine intake
The NHS advises to limit caffeine intake to no more than 200mg a day and goes on to show what caffeine amounts are in a typical caffeinated drink. There are around 100mg of caffeine in a mug of instant coffee, 140mg in a mug of filter coffee, and around 75mg of caffeine in a cup of tea (with the same amount of caffeine in a cup of green tea too!). But it doesn’t end there; it is easy to reach for the energy drinks or some snacks when we’re feeling tired, but there is around 80mg of caffeine in a typical energy drink and just under 25mg of caffeine in a 50g bar of dark chocolate. So, even if you cut down on your cups of coffee, you still may be taking caffeine in from other sources.
Eat healthy foods
With lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels contributing to your fatigue, it is important to ensure you are eating a healthy, balanced diet that is high in protein and nutrients. There have been countless studies that have shown that suboptimal protein and nutrient levels in a diet can contribute to an increase in tiredness and a decrease in energy levels.
Try to incorporate more complex carbohydrates into your diet with wholewheat brown rice, wholewheat bread, and plenty of vegetables and avoid those sugary snacks where possible (we’re not saying cut these out completely – you should treat yourself every now and again as part of a well-balanced diet).
Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet. Vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins B, C and D, folic acid, iron, and calcium all play important roles during pregnancy, so it is important that you get enough of them in your diet. If you are unable to get enough vitamins and minerals from your diet, consider taking supplements to help you get the amount you need. But make sure any supplements you do take are suitable for consumption during pregnancy.
The NHS has a great guide on how to get your vitamins and minerals from your diet.
Drink plenty of water
As with diets, there have also been many studies that have shown that not drinking enough water can make you feel tired and drinking plenty of water can boost your energy levels. So, make sure you are taking plenty of water on board throughout the day.
It is recommended that you drink 8-12 glasses of liquids a day during pregnancy, which is around 2.5 litres. If the weather is hotter, make sure you are taking more on board.
Exercise is well known to increase energy levels. But it can also help you get a better night’s sleep, too.
Other benefits of exercise during pregnancy include easing constipation, reducing back pain (providing the exercise is performed correctly), improved blood circulation and strengthening of the heart, and decreased risk of gestational diabetes.
Of course, exercise during pregnancy comes with a big caveat; you must ensure that the exercise you do is safe during pregnancy and if you are in a high-risk pregnancy category, you should be very careful about how you exercise.
If you are in any doubt, consult your medical professional.
Getting outdoors and enjoying nature has so many benefits, both to our physical and mental health. But, being outside in woodlands, around nature, trees, even in parks and grasslands, has been shown to boost energy levels too.
Not only that but going out for a walk in nature will count towards your daily exercise too – best of both worlds!
Many of these tips for boosting energy levels during pregnancy can seem simple, almost like we’re trying to teach you to suck eggs, but often when you’re feeling tired and lethargic it is easy to forget that making small improvements to your daily routine can make a big difference. And we all need a gentle reminder from time to time.
CREATING MEMORIES THAT LAST A LIFETIME