Everyone knows the first trimester is the hardest right? From those early pregnancy symptoms, to the onset of morning sickness, food aversions and even extreme tiredness, it comes as no secret that those first few weeks of pregnancy can be pretty tough.
Whilst you may fully expect to feel exhausted in those early days of pregnancy, most people seem to suggest that the second trimester is easier. They give hope that the second should see a reduction in pregnancy related nausea, a boost in energy levels and the arrival of that much needed ‘pregnancy glow’; but what you hit the second trimester and it just doesn’t get any easier? Whilst many Moms to be start to relax and adjust to their pregnancy by the 12th week of their pregnancy, many are left still feeling extremely tired and under the weather.
Here are some reasons you may still feel tired in the second trimester…
Are you getting enough sleep?
This may sound obvious, but are you getting enough rest? Whether it’s due to labor anxiety, struggling to get comfortable, more regular bathroom visits or simply struggling to switch off at night time, many Moms to be don’t get as much sleep as they should. If you know you are struggling to drift off at night, why not introduce some mindfulness or meditation apps to clear your mind before bed? If you’re struggling to get comfortable, explore pregnancy pillows or bump supporters, which can help you get into a more optimum sleeping position whilst supporting your changing body shape. Avoid using your phone before bed, as breaking news updates and googling will not help your anxiety levels (and the blue glow of your mobile phone won’t help your sleep patterns either!)
Are your getting enough vitamins and minerals?
If you’re feeling extreme exhaustion, it may be down to low iron levels; something which is quite a common ailment during pregnancy. Low iron can lead to a condition called anemia, which can leave you feeling even more tired than normal. Making sure you eat a diet of iron rich foods (including foods fortified with iron such as cereals and breads) can really help, as well as orange juices which can help iron absorb into the blood stream more quickly. It may also be worth exploring iron supplements, as these can boost your iron levels more quickly than by diet alone. Some come with some unwanted side effects so do your own research to find the best option for you.
Are you getting enough fresh air?
In the Winter months in particular, we don’t spend as much time outdoors, which means our vitamin D and exposure to sunlight can be limited. Getting outside for some much- needed fresh air and exercise during pregnancy can really help boost your energy levels and improve your mood. Pregnancy can also be isolating at times, so getting into the routine of heading out every day (even for a short walk around the block) can encourage you to get up, showered and ready for the day ahead. This can do wonders for your mental health.
Are your eating properly?
Don’t forget that even in the second trimester, your baby is still growing fast every single day. As such, making sure that you’re eating enough and the right kind of foods is really important. Whilst your pregnancy cravings may have you leaning towards the sugary snacks, these are more likely to give you a quick energy boost followed by an inevitable crash, and can actually make you feel worse in the long run.
Skipping meals or not eating enough can also be problematic. Whilst you don’t have to ‘eat for two’, protein rich foods or slow release carbohydrates, accompanied by healthy ‘little and often’ snacks can help maintain your energy levels throughout the day.
Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. Every pregnancy journey is different, and sadly, not everyone sails through pregnancy without the odd bump in the road. Things can also change very quickly meaning that how you feel can change (for good and bad) from one week to the next. Take each day as it comes and look after yourself.