I see many women who feel pregnancy related tiredness is a hindrance to them enjoying home life and doing well at work. I thought it might help to provide some information which might help you let you control your tiredness rather than it control you.
You can get tired at any stage of pregnancy but commonly its worst at the beginning and end. At the start, your change in hormones can make you feel lethargic. At the end, the large size of your bump, which affects things like sleep, and other symptoms such as ankle swelling can make you tired. Also, if it is not your first pregnancy – managing your other children as well as a job if you have one can add to the exhaustion.
What are general tips to manage tiredness?
Rest: It is helpful to recognise that you will be more tired and so organise your diary accordingly. Think about organising less busy days to give you time to rest in between things you want to do. It will mean that you will have more energy for those things you really want to do.
Delegate: Be prepared to ask for help. If a colleague offers to do something for you, think about letting them. Or if a family or friend offers to babysit for your other children, consider it. You, yourself, will be able to think of other things that other people could help you with. Take a bit of time to think these things through.
Diet: Make sure you eat a healthy diet as recommended by NHS Choices. It is a myth that you need to eat for two. Towards the end of pregnancy you will need a few extra calories but at the start, you don’t. It is more important to eat small and regular meals. Take care to have food with slow release energy and do not skip meals.
Drink: Ensure you drink plenty of water. Keeping hydrated helps your energy levels. Remember its tempting to cave into caffeine and energy drinks but the former is not recommended in large quantities in pregnancy and the latter will lead to a slump in energy shortly after the rise. Here is an interesting article by Luisa Dillner from the Guardian on Caffeine in pregnancy.
Exercise: Remember that exercise can actually lead you to feel more energetic and boosts your endorphins to improve your mood. My blog on exercise in pregnancy may help.
How to improve sleep in pregnancy?
Here is a great video to help you with this thanks to NHS Choices.
Also, if you are worrying in pregnancy due to concerns, which may or may not be pregnancy related, consider chatting them through with a healthcare professional. They may be able to offer solutions such as relaxation exercises or talking therapy like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). You can read more about CBT on the NHS Choices website or on the Australian Moodgym website or on the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health website.
I hope this blog helps you manage your tiredness so that you can enjoy your pregnancy.
Any questions or comments do get in touch @PregnaPouch or PregnaPouch@gmail.com.
Best wishes and Good Luck
The PregnaPouch team