3 Reason You May Feel Tired During Pregnancy
Tiredness, fatigue, nausea, headaches, even extreme fatigue, is an early symptom of pregnancy that nearly all women experience in the first trimester. It's also very common in the third trimester, affecting an estimated sixty-percent of all pregnant women.
Most women and their healthcare providers think it's normal to feel fatigued and even exhausted during the first months of pregnancy. As with many other pregnancy conditions, we are told that not feeling great during pregnancy is normal.
Inserts deep sigh and major eye roll!
It wasn't until I experienced pregnancy for myself that I found these old myths to be far from the truth! I had vibrant energy, was physically active, and still had energy stores to get me through my day. In fact, up until 5 months I was still working as a fitness trainer too.
I know that nature did not intend for pregnant women to suffer. I also doubt my ancestors or women in societies where it is customary to have eight to ten kids are tired most of their adult lives because they are either pregnant or breastfeeding.
Instead, I found that there are many reasons for fatigue other than natural physical processes that demand the body’s resources. Nutritient deficiencies being one of the most prominent factors!
Here are 3 reasons you may feel tired during your pregnancy.
1. Low Iron Levels
The demand for iron increases drastically during pregnancy. Iron-deficiency anemia is common in pregnant women. When you're pregnant, the volume of blood in your body increases by as much as fifty percent to support both you and growing baby. This, in turn, decreases your blood’s oxygen concentration. The result, one tired mama-to-be.
Early on you may mistake symptoms of low iron for normal symptoms of pregnancy like fatigue, low mood, morning sickness and headaches.
Make sure your diet includes plenty of iron-rich foods like organic meat, leafy greens vegetables, lentils and beans.
2. Blood Sugar Dysregulation
Blood sugar that drop too low lead to a decrease in energy. At the same time, if blood sugar spikes too high too frequently, energy will also be unstable.
Many women enter into pregancy with high blood sugar or undiagnosed prediabetes. Balanced blood sugar will always lead to much more unstable energy levels.
Managing your blood sugar protects you from developing gestational diabetes, miscarrying and decreases your risk of inflammation and infection.
3. Less Than Optimal Thyroid Levels
Pregnancy adds to the thyroid's load. During the first trimester of pregnancy, the baby relies on the mother's thyroid. The thyroid gland influences brain development and metobolism.
Having low or high levels of thyroid hormone can make you feel tired, bloated, and constipated. This is because your thyroid hormones are affected by your gut health as well. It can also increase water retention, negtively affect your mood, cause anxiety and depression and much more.
Considering the amount of research that point to thyroid's importance in neurological development and the severe consequences of not addressing thyroid dysfunction in the first trimester, it is puzzling why OBGYN's and family planning doctors don't take precautionary measures to educate momma's about the importance of healthy thyroid function.
According to the American College of Endocrinology (ACE), nearly 30 million Americans have thyroid disorders, yet half remain undiagnosed and untreated. Part of that is because thyroid blood testings and individual reading of blood test results are also flawed.
This is why I make it my business to teach my women clients to learn to listen to their bodies and trust what their bodies are communicating with them via their symptoms. Knowing what test to ask your doctor for, how to spot red flags, and how to support optimum thyroid support through nutrition and healthy habits is important.
We can really make a difference in our energy levels if we take responsibility for how we feel. If you're feeling feeling tired, fatigue, and have low mood I invite you to find more ways to support your body during pregnancy.
Building the placenta, creating a new human from scratch, ramping up hormone production, creating and pumping more blood, adjusting to changes in blood pressure and heart rate, insomnia, and the stress of planning for a new addition to the family - all these make pregnancy a true marathon for the body!
Giving your body some much-needed support while its hard at work will make a significant difference.
We cover all of these subjects in my pregnancy coaching calls and program, along with other common pregnancy conditions.
Leave a message in the chat box if you need holistic prenatal health coaching so we can schedule a consultation to get started.