There's no easy way to put this: Pregnancy will leave you feeling more exhausted than you've ever felt before (especially during your first trimester).
Women typically feel the most exhausted during the first trimester and again when it returns toward the end of pregnancy. In fact, most women feel constantly tired before they start to show or even gain any weight, which is why fatigue is one of the most common early warning signs that you may be growing a baby inside your belly.
While the length of tiredness varies depending on the individual, you'll get back some of your energy during the second trimester when you go through a point in your pregnancy where it seems like you could run a marathon and not even be the least bit worn out.
When you think about it, growing a baby is hard work on your body. It's like climbing a mountain without going through the proper training first. Most women start to feel exceptionally tired around week 9, when their metabolism increases causing blood sugar and blood pressure to lower as well as when your pregnancy hormones kick in to help get baby growing.
How you can cope with pregnancy fatigue
Listen to your body: Your body will let you know when you're feeling exhausted. That's what that long sigh followed by a yawn is in the middle of the day. You can start to cope with exhaustion by establishing a good sleep schedule. You may want to try developing a bedtime routine, such as taking a relaxing bath and reading a book before closing your eyes and drifting off. Always make sure that you're getting enough rest, too. If you're at the office and can feel the fatigue coming on, shut your office door and put your head down for a few minutes or go to an empty conference room and take a moment for yourself.
Exercise: Despite how tired you're feeling, you should aim to get in a little bit of exercise during pregnancy. This will help you cope with fatigue because it can improve circulation in your body and increase oxygen intake. While it's OK to sit on the couch and rest, you'll want to at least try to get out for a walk if possible. Of course, you should always talk to your health care provider before participating in any physical activity to ensure that it's safe for both you and the baby.
Stay hydrated: Although getting plenty of water is important when you aren't pregnant, it's even more important now so because it can help you cope with the extreme fatigue you're feeling. Stay away from caffeine, including coffee and soda. Consider buying a nice water bottle that you can carry around with you all day and so you know just how much water you're drinking.
Adjust your schedule: If you're living a busy life (like most of us) then consider adjusting your schedule and cutting back on the unnecessary stuff you don't need like staying overtime at the office, bringing work home with you or social events that aren't essential. This is also when you should feel free to be more lenient on some of the housework. It really won't be that big of a deal if you wait to wash the dishes until tomorrow if you're feeling really tired today. Try to give yourself breaks throughout the day as well so you can regroup and take a breather when you need to.
How are you handling fatigue during pregnancy? Share in the comments below!