Why Pregnancy Makes You Tired? Understanding The Hidden Causes


Pregnancy: a miracle! Countless women experience it. But it brings exhaustion too. Why?

Changes in the body and hormones cause fatigue. The growing fetus needs more blood. So, the heart works harder. Hormones disturb sleep patterns. Metabolic rate rises. That takes energy, making women feel tired.

Weight gain adds to the strain. It tires the body out.

In the past, people thought exhaustion was caused by a “maternal impression.” They believed a mother’s thoughts and experiences affected the baby. And they blamed the expectant mom for her fatigue.

Understanding The Causes Of Fatigue During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it is common for women to experience fatigue. This can be attributed to several causes, such as hormonal changes, increased blood production, and the energy demands of growing a baby. 

Causes Of Fatigue During Pregnancy

🔶 Physical Changes In The Body

Pregnancy fatigue is commonly caused by physical changes. The baby’s growth shifts a woman’s center of gravity, straining muscles and making her tired. 

A unique physical change is a higher heart rate. It must work harder for both mother and baby. This extra effort can make a woman feel more tired. Blood vessels also expand, decreasing blood pressure and making exhaustion even worse.

🔶 Hormonal Changes

Hormonal shifts during pregnancy can cause serious fatigue. These changes affect many body functions, resulting in draining tiredness for expectant mamas.

Progesterone is a hormone created by the ovaries and placenta. It increases significantly during pregnancy, having a sedative effect that leads to drowsiness and fatigue.

Another hormone, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), is produced by the placenta to keep the pregnancy going. HCG levels peak during the first trimester and can cause more tiredness than usual.

Thyroid hormone production also changes, causing energy levels to fluctuate. If thyroid hormone levels are too low, it can lead to exhaustion. 

🔶 Increased Metabolic Rate

Pregnancy brings a big rise in metabolic rate. This means that more calories and energy are burned than normal to nurture the baby’s growth. Nutrition and rest are essential to provide the increased metabolic needs. 

Impact Of Pregnancy On Energy Levels

Pregnancy can significantly affect a woman’s energy levels. Here are five key ways in which pregnancy can impact a woman’s energy levels:

💠 Hormonal changes: During pregnancy, hormonal fluctuations can cause fatigue and a decrease in energy levels.

💠 Increased metabolism: The body’s metabolism increases during pregnancy to support the growing fetus, which can leave the mother feeling tired and drained.

💠 Physical changes: As the pregnancy progresses, a woman’s body undergoes various physical changes that can lead to fatigue, such as weight gain, changes in posture, and increased strain on the muscles and joints.

💠 Emotional and psychological factors: Pregnancy can bring about a range of emotions and stress, which can contribute to feelings of exhaustion and low energy levels.

💠 Sleep disturbances: Many pregnant women experience difficulties sleeping due to physical discomfort, frequent bathroom trips, or hormonal changes, which can result in tiredness throughout the day.

Coping Strategies For Fatigue During Pregnancy

Fatigue During Pregnancy

Fatigue is a common symptom experienced by expectant mothers. To manage this exhaustion effectively, consider implementing the following strategies:

Prioritizing Sleep And Rest

Sleep and rest are essential during pregnancy to fight weariness. Getting enough sleep helps one’s body recharge and increases overall well-being for expectant mums. Here are a few ways to make sure that happens:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Make sure the room is dark, quiet, and comfortable.
  • Keep away from electronics and intense exercise before bedtime.
  • Do deep breathing or gentle stretching to relax.
  • Take quick naps during the day, but avoid long naps.
  • Read a book or listen to soothing music before bed.

Additionally, pregnant women should prioritize rest even when not sleeping. Taking regular breaks throughout the day helps conserve energy. Ask loved ones for help when needed.

Eating A Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet is essential for pregnant women. Here are six tips to keep in mind:

  • Include a variety of fruits and veggies for vitamins & minerals.
  • Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa & wheat bread for fiber.
  • Choose lean proteins like poultry, fish, beans & tofu.
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.

Exercising Appropriately

Exercising is a must for those pregnant, to stay healthy! Engaging in physical activity can help combat fatigue and ensure well-being. Here are 6 tips to consider:

  • Listen to your body. If you feel discomfort, or pain, or are too tired, stop the activity and talk to your healthcare provider.
  • Go for low-impact activities like walking, swimming, yoga, and cycling.
  • Warm-up and cool down before and after exercise. This prevents muscle strains and aids recovery.
  • Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise. This prevents dehydration and fatigue.
  • Wear comfy clothes with breathable fabrics, and supportive footwear.
  • Talk to a certified prenatal fitness instructor or your healthcare provider if you need help.

Plus, strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to support your uterus and help with labor & postpartum.

Managing Stress Levels

Managing stress during pregnancy is vital for the mother and baby. It’s key to finding strategies to control stress and create a positive atmosphere. One way is exercise. Physical activities release endorphins, which lift the mood.

Exercise also reduces cortisol, the hormone of stress. Swimming, prenatal yoga, or simply a brisk walk can help reduce stress.

Relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation can also ease stress. Taking a few minutes each day to focus on breathing and clear the mind calms the body and mind. Pregnant women can explore relaxation techniques and find the best ones.

Creating a support system is key to managing stress during pregnancy. Being surrounded by loved ones who support and understand can help reduce anxiety and stress. Talking about concerns and seeking advice can make a difference in managing stress.

When To Seek Medical Advice

During pregnancy, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms that may indicate a need for medical advice. Common reasons to seek medical attention include experiencing severe or persistent abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, or a decrease in fetal movement.

Additionally, if you develop symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, or sudden swelling in your hands and face, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional. These indicators could signal potential complications that require immediate attention. Remember, it is always better to be cautious and seek medical advice when in doubt.

Dr. Jun Ren is a dedicated and experienced registered dietitian and nutritionist who is committed to helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition plans. With a passion for promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases, Dr. Ren has been able to assist numerous clients in improving their overall quality of life.

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