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Tiredness in pregnancy

It’s completely normal to feel tired, especially in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. That’s when huge changes take place in virtually every system in your body, making you feel extremely tired.  Even if you’re usually a night owl, you may find staying awake for a film, or even your favourite soap, virtually impossible now you’re that pregnant.

Throughout pregnancy your body works hard. But the biggest effort comes in the first trimester. That’s when your baby’s major organs are formed, and the placenta, your baby’s life-support system, starts growing.  Your hormone levels and metabolism are rapidly changing, while your blood sugar and blood pressure levels tend to drop.

If you’re used to sleeping on your back, you may be struggling to get used to sleeping on your side, which can make it harder to get enough shut-eye. But side-sleeping in the third trimester actually reduces the risk of stillbirth, so it’s well worth persevering. This all contributes to a sense of constant tiredness, which can make you absent-minded and forgetful.

Tiredness and low energy levels can sometimes mean that you’re too low in iron (anaemia), which is fairly common in pregnancy.  Your midwife will check your blood for anaemia during your booking visit and later on in pregnancy, as part of your routine blood tests.

Being tired and run-down can also make you feel a bit low. Occasionally, being exhausted and having trouble sleeping can be symptoms of depression.  If you have feelings of hopelessness and have lost interest in things you used to enjoy, speak to your GP or midwife. It’s important to get help now, because the depression may not lift after you’ve had your baby.

Original article: https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a2911/tiredness-in-pregnancy