Pregnancy Week 13: Fatigue

Two-hour naps. Out of breath at my regular Zumba class at my local YMCA. Having a hard time shoveling snow in my grandma’s driveway. Fatigue.

This fatigue has translated into a lot of napping now that I am chasing around a toddler. With my first pregnancy, I could lounge and nap after work as needed. Now that I am chasing a toddler, I am taking a lot of naps. So that got me thinking: What types of fatigue are common with pregnancy, how can you combat fatigue without your daily caffeine and most importantly, when does it end?

Fatigue in Pregnancy:Pregnancy Week 13: Fatigue

First of all, it’s important to say that it’s totally normal and totally okay to feel tired when you’re pregnant. I have decided this time around that I will not feel guilty if I need to nap instead of clean. I will not feel bad if I decide to lounge on the couch and watch a Disney movie with my daughter instead of go do something fun with friends. It’s okay. One reason why fatigue is so heavy during the first trimester is that the placenta is being developed inside of your body. Hormonal changes, such as a rise of progesterone, could also be to blame for the extra yawns.  If you’re experiencing morning sickness or extra anxiety, those will also add a little more tiredness.  It’s important to remember that exercise during pregnancy is great! It can help your pregnancy, labor, and post baby weight loss go smoothly. But listen to your body: If you feel out of breath, get a drink of water, take a break and pick back up when you can.

How do you combat fatigue?

An easy way to combat fatigue is to eat right and eat healthy. I need to work on this one. (The gummy bears I just ate are not helping my energy levels.) Obviously, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats are best. Drinking plenty of water will also help keep fatigue at bay. We recently did a blog post on replacing your caffeine with healthier, energy-boosting alternatives that won’t give you the energy spike/crash that caffeine does. Try exercising to get you motivated. Aromatherapy oils such as grapefruit and mandarin are known to up energy levels. And of course, get plenty of rest when possible.

When will it end?

Most women notice a return of energy during the second trimester. Of course, this isn’t the same for everyone. The third trimester also comes with a rise of fatigue, but because baby is more active and causes more of a demand on your body. In my opinion, third trimester pregnancy naps were the best. I could sleep for 3 hours like it was nothing! Backaches, heartburn, poor sleep at night, and other factors can contribute to the return of fatigue. Just know that you will once again have your energy. Rest now, because you will need that energy when baby is here and you’re taking care of another little person.

So momma, you may feel tired now, but just remember it is all worth it. Fatigue will pass and you will feel great! I’m looking forward to enjoying this second trimester. As for now, it’s naptime. No shame.

Karyn Meyerhoff lives and writes in Northeast Indiana. She loves her husband, daughter, kitties, and naps, too!

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