“I just feel hot and tired all the time!”
“Let’s not step out today. I don’t have any stamina!”
“The fatigue might make me faint!”
If this sounds like you, don’t feel so bad because it’s very common for pregnant women to feel this way. Though you are usually energetic and enthusiastic, this sudden lethargy can make you worry, but it is the hormonal changes that are at work.
Feeling hot and stuffy:
Hormonal changes increase the blood supply to your skin, making you feel warmer than usual and sweating more.
How to manage?
- Wear natural, breathable fabrics like cotton
- Choose loose, comfortable outfits
- At work or home, sit in well-ventilated rooms
- Try to switch on the room fans over air-conditioners, as they allow fresh air to circulate constantly
Tiredness and Fatigue:
In the initial weeks, the nausea and throwing up leaves you feeling drained. As the body gains weight, you may feel tired easily and lack the energy or enthusiasm to do anything at one go.
Once the pregnancy progresses, sleep patterns get impacted and the weight of the growing baby makes it challenging to sleep in any position for long. The lack of deep sleep makes you easily exhausted all the time.
How to manage?
- Take on smaller tasks, or accomplish major tasks with small breaks in between
- Request and accept help from family and co-workers
- While sitting, keep your feet up on the bed / couch or on a stool
- Take short naps at intervals, or simply lie down for a while whenever you feel too tired
- Keep soft pillows for side support, when you sleep, and keep one between your knees while lying sideways.
Feeling dizzy or faint:
Several pregnant women say they feel dizzy or even faint, and have experienced it while getting up with a jerk, getting off the toilet seat or just turning sides swiftly. This is not a major reason to worry, as it caused by poor blood circulation and less oxygen reaching the brain as a result.
How to manage?
- Always turn slowly while in the lying down position
- Get up from the bed or chair gently, and have something to hold for support
- Drink sufficient water at short intervals, to stay hydrated
- Eat nourishing meals to keep blood sugar stable, and take your supplements regularly
- If you’re feeling dizzy, sit or lie down and put your head between your legs until the faintness passes. If it doesn’t, lie down on your side.
- Practice deep inhales and exhales on a daily basis
Keep your doctor and at least one family member updated each time, so that they’re able to be there for you.
CAUTION: Feeling very dizzy or faint early in the pregnancy, and also having bleeding from the vagina or experiencing nagging tummy pain, could mean that you have an ectopic pregnancy. It’s important to see a doctor right away.
How long does tiredness last during pregnancy?
Pregnancy fatigue can strike even before your missed period Opens a new window, making it often one of the first signs of pregnancy. Fatigue often eases during the second trimester and returns in the third trimester. It’s perfectly normal for fatigue to occur at any point in pregnancy.
What is the hardest month of pregnancy?
For many women, the first trimester of pregnancy is often the hardest. During this period, your body is going through a major transformation and needs time to adjust to the changes.
Is it OK to sleep all day when pregnant?
Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is a common occurrence in pregnant women, particularly during the third trimester, but researchers warn that it might not always be physiologically normal.
What foods are good for fatigue during pregnancy?
Starchy foods are an important source of energy, some vitamins and fiber, and help you to feel full without containing too many calories. They include bread, potatoes, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, millet, oats, yams and cornmeal.
When is pregnancy Fatigue not normal?
While fatigue is a common symptom of pregnancy, extreme fatigue is not normal and may be a sign of an underlying health condition. You should see your health care provider if your fatigue is severe and persistent.
Some of the potential underlying causes for your fatigue both during and outside of pregnancy may be due to the following:
- Gestational diabetes: Your body may become resistant to insulin during pregnancy, which can cause you to feel very tired. Other symptoms include extreme thirst and frequent urination.
- Anaemia: A lack of iron can cause you to have an insufficient number of red blood cells to transport oxygen to your tissues and can cause you to feel tired, lightheaded and weak.
- Thyroid problems: Having too much or too little thyroid hormones can cause you fatigue, along with fluctuations in your weight, irritability and depression.
- Prenatal depression: Feeling tired all the time can also be a side effect of depression. Other symptoms may include sadness, feelings of hopelessness and an inability to complete daily tasks or activities.
- Infections (viral, bacterial or fungal): Being pregnant can make you more vulnerable to infections, such as urinary tract infections, which can make you fatigued.