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Fatigue In The Third Trimester

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What To Expect In Your Third Trimester

Is extreme fatigue part of the 3rd trimester or part of depression?

You made it through the hellish first trimester and got past the second relatively unscathed. You are now in the final stretch and are wondering what you can expect during the final three months before your little one arrives. The third trimester of pregnancyweeks 29-40is arguably the most challenging of the three trimesters. You may have experienced some of these symptoms in the previous months, but most of themlike abdominal, back, and leg painsare amplified. In this article, I will describe common symptoms of the third trimester, why they occur, and what you can do to cope.

How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treated During Pregnancy

If youre pregnant and received a ME/CFS diagnosis prior to conceiving, its important that the doctor who has been caring for your condition knows about your pregnancy and the practitioner youve chosen for your prenatal care knows about your ME/CFS.

Together, they will can help you cope with your ME/CFS while nurturing your baby-to-be. Treatments will likely incorporate strategies that have made you feel better in the past, such as activity management . Youll also need to take a good look at any medications youve been taking to make sure they’re compatible with pregnancy. Some like Midodrine arent.

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

How To Sleep Better During Your Third Trimester

Through a combination of sleep hygiene, vitamin and mineral supplements, and safer sleeping positions, pregnant women can improve the quality and quantity of their sleep. Remember to always check with your healthcare provider before changing your routine or starting a new medication, and inform them immediately if you have symptoms that could indicate a serious condition.

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Eat Healthy Meals And Stay Hydrated

In the beginning, pregnancy can also lower your blood pressure and blood sugar, which can make you feel tired. But a lack of sleep can cause your blood sugar levels to rise, increasing the risk for gestational diabetes.

Keep your blood sugar and energy levels balanced by eating often, such as six small meals a day. Frequent meals that are high in nutrients and protein help to combat fatigue.

To avoid nighttime leg cramps, stay hydrated by drinking enough water and fluids throughout the day.

Stay On Top Of Your Nutrition

Third Trimester Symptoms

A solid pregnancy diet can be a great way to keep your energy up. In particular, focus on getting enough iron, which supports red blood cell production and prevents any additional tiredness from anemia . Foods that are high in protein are also good choices, as protein is a longer-lasting source of energy compared to carbohydrates.

You may benefit from eating smaller meals throughout the day. This can help keep your blood sugar and energy levels consistent. Its also important to drink plenty of water, as water helps your body function properly.

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What Causes Third Trimester Nausea

As mentioned, there can be a number of causes behind third trimester nausea. Here are some of them:

1. Heartburn

You experience third trimester nausea mostly due to heartburn, which is sometimes referred to as acid reflux. You have a valve at the bottom of your esophagus that relaxes when you eat something, but it sometimes opens up and allow your stomach acids to move up your esophagus. This causes a burning sensation along with stomach upset. Heartburn is common in the third trimester because this is the time when changing hormones relaxes your muscles in your digestive tract. Feeling nauseous due to heartburn is not a cause of concern, but it can be quite painful. Eat smaller meals more often and avoid spicy foods to correct this issue. Also, reduce your caffeine intake and don’t lay down at least for an hour after eating.

2. Preeclampsia

This complication may develop after you’re 20 weeks pregnant. You will have protein in your urine and your blood pressure will increase as well. The condition affects up to 8% of pregnant women and can cause liver failure, strokes, kidney damage, seizures, fluid in the lungs and blood clots. Preeclampsia can be a life-threatening condition for both the baby and the mother. You may have developed this condition if you experience third trimester nausea with symptoms such as abdominal pain, facial swelling, severe headaches and visual disturbances.

3. Labor

4. Hormone Changes

5. Growing Baby

6. Heavy Meals

Causes Of Third Trimester Exhaustion

There are few reasons why you feel short of energy in your third trimester. Unsurprisingly, lack of sleep is the biggest culprit. As your growing baby takes up more residence in your uterus, it can be increasingly difficult to find a position that is both comfortable and sleep-inducing.

Pregnancy hormones also play a role, says Rachel G. Humphrey, M.D., Director of Perinatology at High Risk Pregnancy Consultants and AdventHealth Medical Group in Orange, Florida. A woman may be absolutely exhausted and comfortable in her bed but still unable to have her mind slow down to go to sleep, she says.

Third trimester fatigue can also be caused by maternal anemia, also known as iron deficiency. The baby uses up a large amount of iron during pregnancy, which can result in low levels for the mother, says Dr. Humphrey. If you feel significantly fatigued, you should consider asking your medical provider to screen you for iron deficiency.

While theres no one-and-done solution for pregnancy exhaustion in any trimester, the best thing you can do is give your body the rest it craves. Before too long, you’ll have a beautiful baby in your arms making gpood sleep even harder to come by.

In the meantime, here are some tried-and-true products that can help you score more zzzs before your little one arrives.

See registry advice and a custom baby gear checklist

Also Check: Supplements For Post Viral Fatigue

Sleeping During Your Third Trimester

Ealena Callender, OBGYN

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Our dedicated team rigorously evaluates every article and guide to ensure the information is factual, up-to-date and free of bias.

The third trimester of pregnancy brings a host of sleep-related changes as the weight gain and pressure of the growing fetus start to have a direct impact on muscles, joints, and blood flow.

If you cant sleep and youre pregnant in your third trimester, keep reading for advice on how to improve your sleep quality. Well take a closer look at the factors that influence third trimester sleep, including conditions like sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome, and discuss the best third trimester pregnancy sleeping positions.

How Is Gestational Diabetes Managed After Pregnancy

I’m in my 2nd trimester and get extremely tired. What can I do?

Research has shown that women with gestational diabetes have a 3 to 7 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes within five to 10 years which is why its important to make healthy habits routine during pregnancy and keep a check on your health after your pregnancy is over.

Here are a few ways to stay healthy after baby is born:

  • Keep up with doctor visits. Make sure your primary care physician and/or OB/GYN reevaluates you after your postpartum visit at six weeks and then again every year to check your fasting glucose and HbA1c levels.
  • Talk to a registered dietitian. An R.D. help you to develop an eating plan that will help keep glucose levels in a healthy range.
  • Continue to choose healthy foods. Opt for wholesome picks like vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, fruit, lean meats, dairy and whole grains.
  • Consider breastfeeding longer, if you’re able. Breastfeeding may decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes. There are several possible explanations, including that breastfeeding women have lower levels of glucose circulating in their blood.
  • Fit in fitness. Although your newborn will undoubtedly take up a lot of your attention, try to get in as much doctor-approved exercise as possible. It’s important to take some time to care for yourself during the postpartum period .

Also Check: Extreme Fatigue And Mood Swings

Keys To Fighting Fatigue During Pregnancy

When fatigue strikes, healthy foods and smart choices can help you stay alert and energized. Sticking to a well-balanced diet, exercising when possible , and responding to your bodys need for rest can help. Try these tips to help reduce symptoms of fatigue:

  • Choose nutrient- and protein-rich foods, such as low-fat milk, yogurt, beans, chicken breast, or peanut butter.
  • Avoid turning to sugary foods or energy drinks for a quick fix. A donut or candy bar might be a temporary sugar fix, but these foods will leave you more hungry sooner and more tired in the long run. Energy drinks should be thought of as dietary supplements and often have ingredients that might not be safe for your baby. Check with your doctor for specific guidance.
  • Eat every four hours , beginning with a balanced breakfast. Try to include at least one whole grain and a fruit or vegetable with each mini-meal or snack.
  • Limit caffeine. While guidelines vary,* most professionals recommend consuming no more than 300 mg of caffeine a day while pregnant. Remember to count the caffeine in other beverages, such as tea or soda.
  • Listen to your body, and get the rest you need. It sounds simple, but it can be easy to forget during this busy time.
  • Exercise regularly .
  • Get as much of the iron, vitamins, and minerals you can from iron-rich and energy-dense foods. Take your prenatal supplements as directed by your doctor.
  • Hydrate. Try to drink at least 10 8-ounce glasses of water or other fluids a day.

Things To Think About In The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy

You can still be active during the last three months, but youll probably find your body slowing down naturally. Walking is an ideal exercise.

You may also find that pregnancy yoga, pilates or aquanatal classes are good ways to stay active in the third trimester. Staying active doesnt have to be planned, though. Weve got some good tips for staying active without going to the gym here.

If you havent written your birth plan yet, you may wish to do it now. As part of your birth plan, its good to think about the different kinds of pain relief that are available and what you may like to consider when youre in labour.

Bear in mind, though, that your wishes may change and you might also need some extra help during labour and birth, so keep an open mind.

Also Check: Causes Of Muscle Weakness And Fatigue

When Does Pregnancy Fatigue Start

While the most common sign of pregnancy is a missed period, some women recall extreme fatigue being one of their first indicators.

Mothers who have already given birth will tell you there seems to be a significant difference between regular fatigue and pregnancy fatigue.

Fatigue can be experienced very early on, even just one week after conception. However, dont immediately associate fatigue with pregnancy there are many other reasons you could be feeling extra tired!

Now, if you are experiencing a combination of pregnancy symptoms like a missed period, unexplained nausea, tender breasts, and fatigue you very well may have a bun in the oven.

How To Cope With Exhaustion During Pregnancy

Morning Fatigue Third Trimester

You may feel as if your body is working extra hard to support your pregnancy, which will leave you feeling very tired. Hereâs how you can boost your energy levels and cope better with fatigue:

  • Follow a healthy diet. Sometimes, fatigue can be linked to iron deficiency, so youâll want to eat plenty of foods that are rich in protein and iron. Getting your vitamins from fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, and a variety of whole foods will help keep your energy up throughout the day. You can read more about a healthy pregnancy diet here.

  • Stay hydrated. Keep drinking plenty of water during the day, but cut down toward the evening to avoid frequent urination at night.

  • Maintain a sleep routine. Try to get into the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time every evening and morning. If you feel you need more sleep, you can always take a nap during the day. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night.

  • Get comfortable in bed. As your bump gets bigger, youâll want to find the right sleeping position. Try to sleep on your left side to help improve blood flow to your baby and your organs. Use pillows to support you between the knees, under your tummy, and behind your back. Keep your head elevated.

  • Stay active. Getting regular physical activity can not only help prevent leg cramps, but also give you a burst of energy. Talk to your midwife or GP about your options for pregnancy exercise.

Also Check: What Deficiency Causes Tiredness And Fatigue

Dealing With Fatigue During Your Pregnancy

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Feeling hot, tired or faint is quite common during pregnancy. Hormonal changes taking place in your body at this time can make you feel nauseous and emotional.

Being tired and run-down can also make you feel low. Try to look after your physical health by eating a healthy diet, doing some gentle exercise and getting plenty of rest and sleep.

Its common to feel tired, or even exhausted, during pregnancy.

When To Call The Doctor

Though pregnancy fatigue is a totally normal symptom, if you’re feeling unrelentingly tired or are otherwise concerned about your health, don’t hesitate to check in with your health care provider. He or she can rule out any underlying conditions that may be causing your symptoms, which may include:

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

Also Check: Ways To Combat Chronic Fatigue

Keep Your Bedroom Dark Clean And Cold

Create the right atmosphere for optimal rest.

In order for your body to reach deep sleep, cover any windows with blackout curtains. Turn off any digital clocks and unplug nightlights illuminating a glow .

Set the bedroom temperature a little cooler than the rest of your home, for optimal quality of sleep. Eliminate any needless clutter and wash your bedsheets often. Save your bed for sleep, cuddling, and sex.

Pregnancy Symptoms Of Each Trimester

How can I deal with fatigue during pregnancy?

Each trimester of pregnancy is slightly different, and the third trimester is often dubbed the worst of the three, although the first trimester may be the most shocking.

First Trimester

UI Children’s Hospital staff. . When you need to gain more weight during pregnancy.University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

WebMD staff, reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD. . Third Trimester of Pregnancy.WebMD.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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Causes Of Fatigue In The Third Trimester

Tiredness from early pregnancy could return with a vengeance later on in pregnancy. Third trimester fatigue is due to:

  • Your growing baby bump. Your baby is growing fast, and you’re carrying more weight than you were earlier on in pregnancy. Carting around all those pounds can be exhausting.
  • Pregnancy insomnia and other symptoms. Your burgeoning bump along with pregnancy symptoms including heartburn, backache and restless leg syndrome may make sleep more elusive than ever.
  • The stress of having a baby. Your baby-overloaded life, which may be jam-packed with shopping lists, to-do lists, baby-name lists and other decisions to be made, could also be costing you sleep and energy.
  • Multi-tasking. Add responsibilities like a job and other kids to the mix, and the fatigue factor often multiplies.

Why Does Pregnancy Make You So Tired

The biggest reason: Its hard work making a baby and it can be taxing to your body. Your body has to adjust to maintain your health and the health of the baby inside of you, Dr. Saunders said. The physiologic changes and increased metabolic demand start in early pregnancy and can continue even after childbirth while breastfeeding.

Beginning somewhere between conception and implantation, pregnancy hormones kick in affecting your body, mood and sleep. During the first trimester, you may also experience morning sickness, frequent nighttime bathroom breaks and leg cramps, which can leave you feeling pretty tired.

Then starting around your second trimester, you may start to get a little pep in your step. You may start to feel more like yourself again. But dont be alarmed if you are still pretty exhaustedespecially if you have other children to care for. Fatigue is still possible during the second trimester.

In late pregnancy, youll most likely begin to feel tired again. At this point, your baby has grown quite a bit and is putting more physical demands on your body. Youre carrying around extra weight and its more difficult to get comfortable when you sleep. Add in leg cramps and heartburn, and sleep becomes even more elusive.

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Sleeping Products To Help With Third Trimester Sleep

Most sleep medications are contraindicated for pregnant women, but there are still plenty of products that can aid in improving your sleep. A white noise machine, meditation app, or lavender scent may help lull you to sleep, while the best pillow and mattress are essential to make sure youre properly supported.

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