Fatigue and Sleep Excess in Pregnancy

One of the most common symptoms of pregnancy is an intense and apparently unexplained fatigue that often comes with oversleeping. Pregnant women in their first months of pregnancy tires up for everything and nothing and the bed always seems to be the place where it feels best.

Fatigue in pregnancy
Fatigue in pregnancy

Even women who historically slept little, or who were full of energy, able to accumulate multiple professional sports and tasks end up being knocked down by fatigue and the sleep in pregnancy. Sometimes even an entire chapter of the novel they can watch without falling asleep.

For some women, the word fatigue may sound even as an understatement, because what they really feel is more than fatigue is a feeling of exhaustion.

The first few weeks of pregnancy can be terrible for the mother, because besides the fatigue and sleep, are also very common nausea and vomiting.

With the end of the first quarter, the symptoms tend to disappear and the mother back to feeling good. However, fatigue, back in the third quarter, when the baby is already very big and pregnant lies beyond the belly, with at least 10 to 12 kilos above his usual weight.

In this article we make a review of fatigue and sleep that affect pregnant women in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy.

What are the causes of fatigue in pregnancy?

The fatigue and oversleeping arise in the first quarter but did not, at first, nothing to do with the weight of the fetus or the size of the stomach.

Tiredness and sleep originate in the hormonal and physiological changes that a woman's body begins to suffer already in the first weeks of pregnancy. Among the various hormones that change during pregnancy, progesterone is what stands out more. Throughout the pregnancy, the levels of this hormone amount to increase by over 500%. Progesterone is essential for the maintenance of pregnancy and fetal development, however, it has several side effects, and the feeling of extreme fatigue and excessive sleeping one of its main.

In addition to the direct action of progesterone in the central nervous system, which causes intense sleep in pregnancy, various physiological changes in the body and the woman's body, many of them also stimulated by the progesterone collaborate to fatigue.

The pregnant in the first weeks, and developing fetus needs to generate the placenta which will nourish the baby throughout pregnancy. This process takes a lot of energy expenditure, causing the woman's body prioritizes the development of pregnancy over their day-to-day.

The body's oxygen demand to maintain a pregnancy comes to increase by 20%. One of the effects of progesterone is to stimulate the brain area responsible for controlling breathing in order to increase the basal respiratory rate of pregnant women, compensating thus the greatest need for oxygen in the body.

The pregnant therefore begins to breathe faster than usual and uses of the oxygen inspired the development of the fetus and placenta. Therefore, any physical activity that requires an even greater increase of oxygen consumption is usually so poorly tolerated, especially by women who were sedentary before pregnancy and have a cardiopulmonary capacity below the desired.

The fetus and placenta also require blood and of the blood flow is diverted to the new being in development. In addition to the shunt, pregnancy hormones also stimulate a reduction in blood pressure caused by vasodilation of the arteries. Therefore, in pregnant women, there is a lower blood pressure to irrigate a larger tissue area than usual.

On top of this, water retention dilutes the blood, causing the pregnant has a relative anemia, which contributes even more to the fatigue for intolerance efforts.

Improvement in 2nd quarter - fatigue return in 3 trimester

At the end of the first quarter, hormone levels stabilize and the placenta is already formed. Tiredness and sleep improve enough. Many women turn to feel good-natured. The second quarter is known as the "happy quarter," for all that "despair" the first few weeks usually disappears.

Unfortunately, however, the well-being short-lived. As the uterus and stomach begin to grow, the weight of the baby, associated with compression of the blood vessels of the pelvis and abdomen and the restriction on the diagram drive back to leave physically exhausted pregnant.

Pregnant women in the third trimester is forced to carry excess weight. The baby alone weighs around 3 kilos. Only amniotic body and liquid water are another 6 to 8 kilos. Placenta and uterus together weigh about 2 kilos. Therefore, a pregnant woman, at the end of pregnancy, is forced to carry about 12 kilos more than was used to load months before. It's a lot of weight gain in a very short time, with no time for the body to adapt. In addition, progesterone, where she also acts in the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints of the body, altering its normal functioning, which predisposes the mother pain and osteo-muscular injuries.

In addition to fatigue, sleep around to bother pregnant in the third quarter, this time not only by direct action of progesterone in the central nervous system, but because the immense uterus prevents the pregnant woman have a good night's sleep. In late pregnancy, tummy sleeping up or down is impossible and inadvisable. Pregnant need to spend the night away and has great difficulty to change position during sleep.

To make matters worse, the direct action of progesterone and the compression of the bladder by the uterus cause pregnant need to urinate all the time. Some women need to raise more than once during the night to pee, interrupting their already difficult sleep.

So in addition to all the accumulated fatigue throughout the day by excess weight, the pain, the frequent wetting and difficulty breathing (due to a giant uterus compresses the diaphragm), pregnant women still have difficulty to restore their energies during nighttime sleep.

How to alleviate the fatigue of pregnancy

First of all you must understand that sleep and fatigue of pregnancy are actually a way of your body tell you that he needs rest and plenty of energy to develop the baby. The most important point is to understand and accept it. The first few weeks of pregnancy are even to rest the most and avoid unnecessary efforts.

Sleep and exhaust last few weeks and then greatly improved. During this period, avoid social or professional situations that are not essential. Take a rest for your body.

The most important is to sleep when the body asks. Obviously, for professional reasons, this is not always possible. Unfortunately, we live in a society that respects the little mishaps of a pregnancy. If the woman does not have a big belly of late pregnancy, it is unlikely that any boss go allow any change in hours or work day, for more than the initial pregnancy is leaving the exhausted woman. Anyway, talk to your boss, see if you can throughout the day one or two periods of 15 to 20 minutes to do nothing and try to take a nap. It may seem little, but it helps a lot.

If you can not sleep during the day, go to bed early at night. If you already have children, ask your husband or family. Understand that you need to sleep more than she was used before pregnancy. From the 16th week of pregnancy, prefer to sleep on your side, especially on the left side; you will have a nice sleep.

Avoid long periods of fasting, as these can worsen fatigue and nausea, and try to hydrate well. Drink more water during the day than at night to not feel so eager to urinate morning. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, as this can disrupt your sleep.

Eat fruits, vegetables, protein and complex carbohydrates. Avoid fatty foods. If you have anemia, iron replacement usually help.

Take light physical activity such as walking, yoga or swimming. As you are tired, light physical activity help release endorphins and improve cardiorespiratory fitness, which, over the days, will make you feel much better and less tired.

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