Unless you’ve been pregnant before, it’s hard to imagine the intensity of a woman’s fatigue during her first trimester of pregnancy. Moms-to-be can fall asleep anywhere, at any time: even just one minute of sleep feels like heaven.
Why is fatigue so intense during pregnancy? How can you get through everyday tasks if you can’t keep your eyes open during the day? Here are a few tips to feel less tired and remain active against all odds.
Why do I feel so tired?
During the first trimester, you can blame the higher progesterone levels for your fatigue. Once the uterus is lined and the baby’s growth has begun, these levels will decrease and for most women, fatigue will too.
For others, gastric reflux, nightmares, painful breasts, fears, the need to urinate at night and the growing belly will keep disrupting sleep at night. These women who have bad nights are never truly rested in the morning.
Rest: As much as you can, whenever you can!
If you are exhausted and have young children, nap with them every time you can. Moreover, enjoy the presence of dad or grandma to lie down for a bit while they watch the kids. At work, look for a meeting room that is not used during lunchtime and sleep for half an hour. One mom told us that, during her pregnancy, her boss would send her to a hidden couch to rest when she couldn’t work anymore.
Any time is a good time to rest, so use every opportunity to your advantage. You can always clean up later, and you will be much more effective with a few hours of sleep behind you.
Ask for help
Women who keep suffering from fatigue beyond the first trimester should seek help quickly before getting even more tired and not even wanting to leave the bed. Get help in any way you can:
• Ask your parents and friends to babysit now and again;
• Ask your older children to help with the dishes and other tasks;
• Let go and accept that your house is not as clean as it usually was;
• Buy prepared meals. An increasing number of caterers offer delicious and healthy meals at a great price.
Organizations: There to help you
Inquire to your local clinic and find out what services are offered in your area. These services differ from one city to another but if your local clinic doesn’t offer respite care, the nurses in place will tell you where to look. However, if nothing is available where you are, or if you are not eligible for these free services because of your high income, hire a maid or a babysitter that will give you a hand and let you rest for a few hours.
A fully forming baby and your increased blood volume are very demanding for your body. That is why an expectant woman should always eat well and maintain a diet rich in iron, calcium, and fibers. Pregnant women must also eat enough to avoid weakening and feeling even more tired.
If you want to find out if your diet is appropriate for pregnancy, visit Canada’s Food Guide website. You will find a section dedicated to pregnant women, and you will be able to adjust if you feel that your menu is inadequate.