pregnancy-fatigue-sweetbeatsThe first weeks of pregnancy can hit you like a truck. Or maybe you’re one of those lucky women who just cruise on past…. But if you’re like me, you may be shocked discover that all of a sudden you just can’t function the way you did just a few weeks and even days ago and pregnancy fatigue has hit hard. Sweet Beats speaks to LOTS of mums who are in this stage of pregnancy when they call in to ask about hiring a doppler. Trust me, you’re not alone in your early pregnancy haze, though it can feel like that as everyone else is pepping around like usual. Here are our top tips for a new mum:

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Understand why you’re tired

Although you may not look much different than you did just a few weeks earlier, please remember there is a HUGE amount of change going on within your body. You are essentially going through as big a change as you did when you went through puberty – but this time you’re doing it in weeks, not years! Here are some of the changes your body is going through:

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  • Your body is actually growing new organs. Yes, the placenta! It’s a major organ that will provide life support for a new growing being, and you’re body is generating it right now!
  • Your breasts are emerging from ‘dormancy’ <- you didn’t realise it, but until you’re pregnant, your breasts are kind of in a dormant state. They’re waking up now baby! Breast duct tissue is maturing and your boobs are getting ready to do their thing.
  • Your entire hormonal and endocrine systems are doing a major directional shift. Your pregnant now, and this means all the systems of your body are changing gears to support pregnancy. This is hard work.
  • Your blood volume is preparing to increase up to 50%. Again, that is hard work.
  • Your BRAIN is rewiring itself. Yes. Hardcore. Forget ‘baby brain’ – your brain is actually INCREASING IN SIZE and the areas of the brain relating to emotional intelligence are increasing in complexity. (This process can be why we can be a bit ‘overly susceptible’ to emotions in pregnancy – it’s just a little fine tuning needed).
  • Much more!

Yes we all hear the ‘your baby is a parasite taking your energy thats why you’re tired’ thing but there’s actually way more to it than that. You are doing an awesome, incredible job. Take a rest!

Make sure everyone else knows you are TIRED

The big problem with fatigue in early pregnancy is that nobody else realises. You look the same, right? It’s not like late pregnancy when you’re clearly waddling around and justifiably exhausted. In early pregnancy not only do you look the same as your non-pregnant self (and therefore people don’t realise you need sympathy) but maybe you haven’t even told those around you and so they have no idea you’re pregnant. If this is you, come up with something. A virus. Construction next door. A 12 week long hangover. Whatever it is, make sure people know you’re not up to speed. And as for your partner……. make sure he (or she) really knows that the early weeks of pregnancy are hard and you need to take a nap. This is a good time to make sure you’re sharing the housework load.

Take a nap

My husband and I now know that if I’m taking a nap in the daytime? I’m pregnant. When you’re pregnant not only may you feel like a nap, you literally may not being able to get through the day without one. Change your daily expectations and try to find a way to take a nap. If this is not possible (i.e. because you’re at work or have small kids) at least find a way to get some quiet time to try and recharge.

Try to minimise night time wakeups

There are a range of reasons that you may suddenly start sleeping BADLY, right when you need your sleep the most. Annoying people claim this is so you can ‘prepare for your baby’ and all the sleepless nights you will soon have. All well and good, but let’s keep it to a minimum:

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    • Weeing – yes, you will wee more in early pregnancy. This is due to hormonal changes and not sudden onset of incontinence. First, maybe try to hold off on too much fluid right before bedtime. Second, when you wake up with a full bladder, just get up and go. Try to keep your eyes closed, I find it helps getting back to sleep.
    • Snoring. Previous snoring on the part of your partner that you previously thought cute will now enrage you. Deal with this. Somehow. Do what needs to be done.  Unfortunately, you yourself may start snoring due to the increased blood flow and congested nasal cavities. If possible, also try to work on this.. there’s some suggestion it may not be great for your health during pregnancy. Pillows can help.
    • Constipation. Seems out of left field? Okay let me explain. There is a little known secret that constipation during pregnancy will unfortunately also increase frequency of the dreaded night wees, perhaps by compressing or irritating your bladder, or whatever, it just is awful. Make avoiding constipation a priority in life right now. Your hemorhoids (and yes, you will get them, but they will go away) will thank you after the birth.
    • Pillows. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it does happen to a lot of pregnant women – your pelvis will suddenly start to drive you insane at night. Put a pillow between your legs. Build a pillow fortress. Buy an enormous pregnancy pillow of the type you previously found ridiculous. Whatever is needed, just do it.


Abandon your standards

Give yourself a break, you’re making a person. Now is not the time to hold yourself to any kind of rigorous pre-pregnancy standards, whether it comes to housework, conference room showdowns, holding your own with the inlaws, lifting steel at the gym, or having an acrobatic sex life. Just take it easy, listen to your body and enjoy this time. Making a baby is a special, special thing, and not only are there incredible changes in your body, there are also going to be huge changes in your life and relationship. Pay attention to how you feel and be kind to yourself. You’re doing an amazing thing.


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