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During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy your body changes and your baby grows so that fatigue becomes a very early symptom of pregnancy. Being pregnant puts a strain on your entire body. When you are pregnant, your body cries out for rest. Many women find they cannot get through the day without a nap or that they go to sleep as soon as they get home from work. What most women remember about the early stages of pregnancy is a constant feeling of tiredness. Even those who normally stay up late will feel themselves struggling to stay awake for a favorite television show.
No one knows for sure why exhaustion sets in at this early stage but it is possible that hormonal changes – in particular a dramatic rise in progesterone – can make you feel sleepy and less energetic. During the first trimester, you are building the placenta that feeds and nourishes your baby until birth. Your metabolism is affected and all of these reasons act as a signal for us to listen to our bodies and care for ourselves at this crucial period. Many women have low blood pressure while pregnant because their blood is circulating through two systems - both mother and baby - so this can cause additional fatigue. Some pregnant women notice that the feeling of exhaustion is stronger at some times of the day more than others but this may depend on your daily routine. You may even be having trouble getting a good night’s sleep if you are uncomfortable or having to get up frequently to use the bathroom.
This period of exhaustion in pregnancy is usually only temporary and should pass by around 14 to 16 weeks. Most women find that their energy level is back to normal in mid pregnancy and they feel like their old selves. Some even have an increased level of energy and this is the time to sort out the nursery and do those chores that you will not have the energy for later in the pregnancy.
If by any chance you are still exhausted a few weeks into your second trimester, then talk to your doctor so that any underlying causes such as anemia or depression can be checked out.
By the end of pregnancy, the strain of carrying all that extra weight starts to take its toll and most women tire by the end of the day. The increased size and weight begins to tax the muscles. Difficulty in sleeping can also leave you tired. Women who have had many previous pregnancies seem to feel even more exhausted but it is not known whether this is a physical cause or because of the responsibilities of a large family. It is possibly a combination of both.
If it is getting close to your due date, ensure you are getting plenty of rest both during the day and at night as fatigue in labor can interfere with labor’s progress. First time mothers can get excited and over tired even before they go to the hospital as they rush around making sure everything is ready. In the early stages of contractions when there is no urgency, try to sleep as much as possible so that you are not exhausted before you go into labor because that is the time when you are going to need your strength for the hard work ahead of you