Fatigue in pregnancy

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Fatigue in pregnancy: first trimester

Fatigue is common in the first trimester of pregnancy and is a sign of pregnancy

Fatigue is a very frequent phenomenon in pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, so much so that it can be considered a physiological disorder. "Usually the sense of asthenia and exhaustion that is felt during the wait is attributed to the changed hormonal climate of pregnancy, in particular to the increase in levels of beta hCG and progesterone, in reality there is no scientific proof of this correlation" she explains. Stefano Bianchi, head of obstetrics and gynecology at the San Giuseppe Hospital in our city.

Why then do you feel tired?

"It is likely that certain ailments, such as nausea and the fatigue, are atavistic defense mechanisms, which the organism of the first mothers of our species has put in place to protect the embryo from the risks that inedible foods or intense fatigue could entail "continues Prof. Bianchi." Of course, nowadays. our inedible foods on our tables no longer arrive and pregnant women keep well away from heavy work, but the instinct to refuse certain foods or to rest more has reached us. "

Other factors can then be added to this 'primal instinct': "Since the beginning of pregnancy, the heart sets to work to function for two, there is an increase in vasodilation which lowers blood pressure, while the sugar levels in the blood is reduced, especially when fasting "points out Sonia Brugali, obstetrician at the Pesenti-Fenaroli hospital in Alzano Lombardo (BG); "in addition, during pregnancy the need for iron increases and it is easy for the maternal organism to go into reserve. From a psychological point of view, moreover, even if the good news is welcomed with joy, all the news that from one day to the other, they 'invade' the woman's life, they require some time to be metabolized, and in the early days the maternal organism may ask to take a break, to slow down and to 'reset'. then to all this we add that the night does not always rest adequately, the picture is complete ".


Tips for anti-fatigue in pregnancy

  • Get more rest. It seems trivial, but if you are sleepy it is really the most effective remedy. If the sofa 'calls you', listen to it, if only to relax. If you are in the office, it is difficult for you to lie down (the boss might not agree!), But when you feel the need, look away from the pc and close your eyes for a while, eat a light snack, indulge a coffee (no more than two or three a day, though!): more often than not, taking a break is enough to feel better already.
  • Thin out commitments. Once you leave work, don't burden yourself with other commitments: your partner will take care of the shopping, there will be time for an aperitif with your friend, you don't have to go out for dinner. Better to go home and indulge in pleasant and relaxing activities.
  • Light meals yes, fasting no. Never skip breakfast - even if you suffer from nausea just wait a bit and choose the right foods - have at least one snack in the morning and one in the afternoon, but also for lunch and dinner eat light dishes: a meal that is too large makes it difficult digestion, causing sleepiness in the afternoon and difficulty falling asleep in the evening.
  • 'Right' supplements. If the blood tests show the iron values ​​below a certain threshold, the gynecologist will prescribe you specific supplements, plus possibly vitamins and minerals such as potassium and magnesium (which are easily lost when you sweat) that can help you feel more 'energized' . The important thing is never to take supplements on your own.
  • No to crowded places. Avoid crowded places, do not stand too still, move away from places where it is very hot, because the pressure could drop and cause dizziness.
  • Small aids in your handbag. Always keep some candies in your bag (sweetened, not sugar free!), A bottle of water or a fruit juice, a packet of crackers, so as not to stay long on an empty stomach, prevent blood sugar drops and take a sip if you feel hot .
  • What if you get dizzy? Look for a cool place to sit and, if necessary, lie down, with your legs slightly raised above your head and a little turned to your left side, so as not to compress the vena cava.

Tiredness in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy

If from the beginning pregnancy determines important changes in sleep, circadian rhythms, sleep-wake rhythms and dream activity due to hormonal changes, and the rise in progesterone levels, in the second half of pregnancy it is above all insomnia during pregnancy to afflict most mothers-to-be, affecting the necessary night's rest.

In addition to hormonal and neuronal factors, it is necessary to consider the anatomo-functional changes of the third trimester, namely the encumbrance of the uterine volume, the compression of the fetus on the chest which involves respiratory problems, the difficulty in finding the ideal position for sleep, the urge and frequency of urination, which leads to getting up several times during the night.

How to behave? Five tips against fatigue and insomnia

  • Slow down the pace: indulge in softer work rhythms, less fatigue, less stress.
  • Follow healthy food hygiene: in the evening, consume light food, without alcohol and caffeine, and avoid going to bed immediately after a meal.
  • Ok to all the relaxing strategies: it is perfectly fine to indulge in an afternoon nap, while in the evening yes to all the quiet activities, such as a reading, a walk or a bit of television (no lively movies though!).
  • Yes also to mildly sedative herbal teas, such as valerian, while discussed is the use of melatonin, so before using it it is advisable to discuss it with the gynecologist.
  • Medicines only when needed. In particularly serious cases, the doctor may evaluate the need to prescribe the use, albeit at low doses, of pharmacological sedatives of the benzodiazepine group and, in the most serious cases in which a depressive component is present, of antidepressants such as paroxetine.

Finally, always talk to your doctor: sometimes a soothing word from the right person is the best natural sedative!


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