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 fatigue 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 Milan.
Why then do you feel tired?
“It is likely that certain ailments, such as nausea and the fatigue, are atavistic defense mechanisms, that the organism of the first mothers of our species has put in place to protect the embryo from the risks that inedible food 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 the pressure, while the sugar levels in the blood is reduced, especially when fasting “points out Sonia Brugali, midwife 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 on the other, they ‘invade’ the woman’s life and require some time to be metabolized, and so in the early days the maternal organism may ask to take a break, slow down and ‘reset’. then to all this we add that the night does not always rest adequately, the picture is complete “.
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 that involves respiratory problems, the difficulty in finding the ideal position for sleep, the urgency 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 take 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 talk about it with the gynecologist.
- Medicines only when needed. In particularly severe 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!