Feeling Extremely Tired During Pregnancy? Here's What This Can Mean...
Majority of women, and even most healthcare providers think it's normal to feel fatigue and exhaustion during pregnancy, especially during the first three months. Extreme fatigue, nausea, headaches, vomiting etc are all symptoms 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.
But, as always, there's a blurred line between what's "common" and what's actually considered "normal" and healthy.
There can be many reasons why you may be feeling unwell during pregnancy and not fully able to enjoy this one-in-a-lifetime experience to bond with your baby while she or her is nesting and growing inside of you.
In this article I'll give you three!
1. You may have low iron levels.
For women, our demand for iron increases drastically during pregnancy, and 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 your growing baby.
This upregulation of iron demand, when not supported properly, can decrease your blood’s oxygen concentration. The result is one tired mama-to-be.
Make sure your diet includes plenty of nutrient-rich foods and good animal protein and fats. Women who choose not to eat animal product will need to put extra focus and attention in getting these vitamins and mineral from other food sources in the RIGHT amount.
2. Your blood sugar levels are imbalanced.
While pregnant and outside of pregnancy, blood sugar that drops too low will lead to a drop in energy. This could be what's contributing to your pregnancy symptoms because your increased blood supply and elevated levels of certain hormones expose you to more dips in blood sugar and make blood sugar balance harder to achieve.
At the same time if your blood sugar spikes too high too frequently your energy will also be unstable. Many women enter into pregnancy with high blood sugar or undiagnosed prediabetes. Managing your blood sugar protects you from developing gestational diabetes, miscarrying and decreases your risk of inflammation and infection.
3. Your thyroid hormone levels are imbalanced.
Pregnancy adds to your body's thyroid load. During the first trimester of pregnancy, baby relies on the mother's thyroid. 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, negatively affect your mood, cause anxiety, 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.
Just like with other conditions, women are told that "not feeling good" is something to expect and look forward to experiencing -- because it's all just a part of being pregnant. The problem with this is that it sets women up to be left without proper prenatal care and it increase the chances of hormone imbalances, nutrient deficienses, miscarriages, preterm labor or low-birth-weight babies.
If you're feeling tired, experiencing extreme fatigue and low energy, throwing up excessively, have headaches, poor concentration, and etc, I invite you to find more ways to support your body during pregnancy. Because creating a new human from scratch, building the placenta, cramping up your 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!
I know that nature did not intend for pregnant women to suffer. I also doubt our 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.
Take care, love, peace and health,