Wondering why you’re feeling so exhausted during your first trimester? You’re not alone, in fact, extreme fatigue is one of the most common symptoms women experience when they first get pregnant. With so many incredible changes happening in your body, it’s no wonder your body is craving some rest. Plus, it’s a good sign, because it means your pregnancy hormones are circulating and your body is working hard to help your baby grow. If you’re wondering how to deal with first trimester fatigue, we have some tips to help!
What Is First Trimester Fatigue?
Fatigue is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. It’s super common, with nearly all women experiencing fatigue during the first trimester. It’s a sign from your body to slow down and give it time to adjust to all the changes going on inside.
If you’re experiencing first trimester fatigue, you may have trouble getting up in the morning, have difficulty focusing, notice constant tiredness throughout the day and feel more irritable and weak. Daily tasks may be becoming more difficult to complete and you may notice you want to cancel plans because all you want to is rest.
What Causes First Trimester Fatigue?
Hormonal changes play a major role in first trimester fatigue- particularly progesterone, which rises sharply in the first trimester. Your body is also producing more blood to carry nutrients to your baby. This causes your heart to pump harder and stronger, which increases your metabolism and lowers your blood pressure and blood sugar, adding to your fatigue. Low iron levels can also make you more tired, although this is more common in later pregnancy.
How Long Does First Trimester Fatigue Last?
For most women, extreme fatigue typically only happens during first trimester. By second trimester your energy levels should rise and you’ll start feeling more like yourself. If you’re feeling like you’re spending a lot of time napping and lazing around the first few weeks, it’s totally normal and will pass. Keep in mind, fatigue often returns in third trimester due to disrupted sleep and discomfort, but it’s all temporary and will be worth it once baby comes.
How to Deal with First Trimester Fatigue: 7 Tips
1. Get Plenty of Rest
Listen to your body and sleep and rest as much as you can. Try to go to bed early and take naps when you need to. Reduce extra career or social activities during your first trimester so you can rest, and so that you can be as productive as possible with your regular responsibilities. Don’t try to take on too much – if you’re feeling overwhelmed, reorganize your schedule and enjoy some much-needed downtime.
2. Practice Proper Nutrition
Make sure your diet is packed with protein and complex carbs like whole grains, beans and vegetables. Eat small, frequent, healthy meals to help stabilize your blood sugar and energy levels. This should help with fatigue.
Also focus on getting enough iron, which supports red blood cell production, helping to prevent any tiredness from anemia. Avoid processed and fast foods as much as possible and steer clear of simple carbs like white pasta and bread, which can cause you to crash and feel more sleepy.
3. Exercise Daily
As long as your doctor gives you the go ahead, exercise is one of the best things you can do to help with fatigue. First, it will give you an energy boost to help you get through the day, and second, it will help you sleep better at night.
Walking, swimming and cycling on a stationary bike are great workouts for first trimester. Yoga, pilates and strength training also tend to be safe during pregnancy. Just ask your doctor how much weight is safe to lift. Try to exercise for about 30 minutes everyday, as it can also help manage other pregnancy symptoms like constipation and back pain.
4. Reduce Stress and Anxiety
There can be a lot of stress and anxiety that comes with pregnancy, even if you weren’t an anxious person before you got pregnant. Stress and anxiety can interfere with sleep and make you feel more tired throughout the day. Find ways to destress and decrease anxiety, such as journaling, mediation, prenatal yoga, going for walks and deep breathing exercises. Connecting with people you love and talking to a therapist can also be super helpful.
5. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is key during pregnancy as it keeps your body functioning properly. It helps maintain your energy levels by keeping your muscles energized and helps you feel more focused and alert. Even mild dehydration can affect your mood, brain and energy levels, so it’s super important to drink enough water throughout the day.
6. Get Adequate Sleep
Good quality sleep is always important, but specifically during your first trimester, when your body really needs its rest. Do your best to go to bed early so that you can get eight to nine hours of sleep per night.
Create the right atmosphere for optimal rest. Your bedroom should be cool and dark- turn off any digital clocks and invest in blackout blinds so your body can reach deep sleep. Eliminate needless clutter and wash your sheets and pillowcases often. Create a relaxing bedtime routine that prepares you for a good night’s sleep.
7. Accept and Ask for Help
This isn’t the time to try to do everything yourself. Say yes to offers of help from family and friends, whether someone offers to go get you groceries, drop off a home cooked meal or run a few errands for you. Ask your partner to help you with tasks you usually do, and remember, the dishes and laundry can wait until tomorrow.
If you’ve been dealing with first trimester fatigue, we hope these tips help you get some energy back. Remember, it’s temporary and all your symptoms will be worth it when you have your baby in your arms!
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