Can you just wake me when I’m in the second trimester…
There’s tiredness and then there’s early pregnancy EXTREME tiredness. How. Do. People. Actually. Survive. This.
Fatigue (along with nausea) is one of the most common early pregnancy symptoms people would talk to me about at the first Midwife appointment. It is perfectly normal to feel something is wrong because it is hard to believe everyone could feel this tired. Luckily for the majority of women, the unrelenting tiredness usually subsides by 14 weeks and a blood test at your booking in appointment can reassure you ‘pregnancy’ is the cause.
I think it is really helpful to take a moment to really appreciate the significant anatomical and physiological changes that are taking place in our bodies in order to nurture and accommodate the growing baby. These changes begin after conception and affect EVERY organ system in our body. For most women experiencing an uncomplicated pregnancy, these changes resolve after pregnancy with minimal residual effects. How mind blowing is this!
A few fun facts… By the first 12 weeks gestation, our circulating blood volume has already increased by about 20%. During pregnancy a women needs 3 x iron, 10-20 x folate, 2 x Vit B12 requirements. A pregnant women has higher oxygen requirements just with general day to day breathing. During the first trimester glucose is shunted from mother to the developing foetus, leaving mother with just enough adequate nutrition to ensure the foetus gets first pick. All of this proves, just how much energy is being metabolised behind the scenes (or should we say inside the uterus).
It also totally explains why you should have that afternoon nap, early bedtime AND sleep in! Rest up mama- you are doing an incredible job.
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Kate Sedon is a Registered Nurse & Midwife who trained in Australia in 2007. She has settled down in The Coromandel, New Zealand, with her soulmate fisherman, two gorgeous sons, and their black lab.