Fatigue tends to be something that threads every single pregnancy.
Ah pregnancy! A beautiful wondrous time where miracles are happening inside of you.
It also just happens to be one of those times where day to day life can be quite difficult.
affects women very differently. Some women really enjoy it and actually miss it when their baby comes along whereas others quite literally count down the days and want to throw a party to celebrate it coming to an end.
Pregnancy sickness and aches and pains
tend to overshadow a lot of potential pregnancy joy for women. There may be brief periods of time where it calms down but as a general rule, they make it pretty difficult to love this time in their lives. The same can be said for fatigue. Fatigue tends to be something that threads every single pregnancy.
For many women, it is actually the first and most intense symptom during early pregnancy. The only real effective way to remedy fatigue is to – you guessed it – sleep. Unfortunately, pregnancy (or life in general) does not always offer a woman the opportunity to get enough of this glorious activity.
Sleep is something that a lot of pregnant women struggle with. Sometimes the reason for a lack of sleep is nausea and sickness during the first trimester and in other cases, it is caring for other children who may have busy schedules and who may not be “sleepers”. As pregnancy progresses a woman’s size and shape tend to become another obstacle that gets in the way of sleep. Maybe it is nature’s way of preparing us for the sleepless nights with a newborn but if we can improve the situation in any way we absolutely will.
Here are some useful tips to help you improve your quality of sleep during pregnancy:
1. Watch the caffeine. During pregnancy caffeine should be limited anyway but when we are tired we tend to need more caffeine to function. It’s a catch 22 though because caffeine makes it harder for us to switch off and fall asleep when the opportunity finally does come our way. Try herbal teas or decaf options from about lunch-time onwards.
2. Do some research and consider a pregnancy pillow. Many women find these invaluable for supporting their bump and new shape while they sleep. There are so many different options available and many are extremely affordable.
3. Try to limit stress. Are you anxious about the baby coming and constantly adding to your to-do list? Are you carving out some me-time and focusing on your own self-care? Stress can be a contributing factor to poor sleep and pregnancy and parenthood tend to come with lots of reasons to feel stressed.
4. When opportunity knocks have a nap! If your children nap this is a great time to try and do the very same. There will always be housework and things that need doing but you will be far more productive and capable when you’ve had a little rest – particularly during the third trimester.
5. Try to spend some time outdoors even if it’s just a walk to the park or the local shop to pick up some essentials. Fresh air has been proven to help with your quality of sleep but pregnancy can give us an urge to hibernate away from the rest of the world. We might just need a little push in this direction.
6. Don’t over commit yourself. Are you constantly making plans and filling up your social diary only to regret how little down-time is leftover? Consider this before you say yes. Many of us want to do as many things as possible with our children before a baby comes along and it can lead us to feel over-tired which makes it more difficult to sleep well.
7. Screen time affects adults too. Chances are you are spending your evenings glued to a phone, tablet or TV because it’s you-time. If you’re not binging on Netflix when the kids go to bed you’re scrolling through online forums and pregnancy apps. Limit it as much as possible in the evenings as screens make it difficult for us to switch off and fall asleep.
8. Re-consider your bedtime. When you are pregnant anything goes and if that means going to bed with the kids at 7.30pm then so be it. If your children are still waking during the night this might help you take in a larger block of sleep which could really make all the difference.
Tracey is mammy to four-year-old Billy and is also expecting baby number two any day now. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can follow her on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/traceysblog/