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5 Reasons Why You’re Experiencing Pregnancy Fatigue – And What You Can Do

Are you in your last trimester? Then this article is for you. The final trimester brings with it a lot of emotions, like excitement for the new baby, some anxiety – and probably even ‘I can’t wait for it to be over!’ After all, you may be feeling huge, need to pee all the time, and in general, just over being pregnant. One major thing that many women experience at this stage is pregnancy fatigue. Fatigue and loss of sleep is particularly common in the last trimester for a few reasons:

1 Braxton-Hicks Contractions

It’s your body’s way of warming up for the actual event. These contractions are usually not very strong, but they can come and go at any time and are unpredictable. When they happen, you may wake up in the middle of the night with a rock hard belly and may leave you breathless!

What you can do

While there’s nothing much you can do about it except to ride it out, you can try to relax and simply know that it’s your body doing what it needs to do to prepare you for labour. However, you can keep timing those contractions to see how far apart they are, to make sure they’re not actual contractions leading you into labor.

2  Constant need to pee

At this stage, the baby has dropped into your pelvis, putting pressure on your bladder, leaving less room for your urine. This means that you’ll be needing to pee more often, and getting up frequently in the middle of the night.

What you can do

Even though you know you’ll be needing the bathroom all night, it’s still important to stay hydrated. You may try to avoid drinking water an hour before bed and pee before turning down for the night, to extend the interval between those bathroom visits.

3 Backaches

Backaches are common during pregnancy because of weight gain, stress, muscle separation, and posture and hormone changes. During a typical pregnancy, a weight gain of 12 to 17kg is common. But this means that your spine has to take on a lot more weight in a short amount of time, which causes aches and pains.

The center of gravity in your body also shifts downwards, and you have to adjust your movement and body posture to accommodate that, which can also cause pain. As your uterus expands, your ab muscles may also separate along the center seam, which can make back pain worse. Stress can also cause muscle tension, and you can feel them as back spasms or general aches.

What you can do

Regular exercise and stretching is helpful, as well as core exercises. These boosts your flexibility and strengthens your muscles. Applying cold or heat can be helpful too. Being aware of your posture while sitting will also help to prevent aches. Most importantly, try to manage your stress. Seek out alternative therapies like acupuncture and chiropractic care – but before you do so, remember to consult your doctor.

4 Heart Burn

That burning feeling starting from the lower breastbone, rising to the lower throat? Yep, heartburn. Many women experience heartburn during pregnancy. It’s usually caused by the hormone progesterone, which is produced during pregnancy. The hormone helps to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus, but at the same time, it also relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This allows gastric acids to seep up, causing that burning feeling in your chest.

What you can do

Avoid foods that tend to irritate your gastrointestinal system, so try to skip that serving of hot sauce. Other foods are caffeine, chocolate, tomatoes, citrus, processed meats, spicy and fried, fatty foods. Try to eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of one or two big meals. Avoid drinking too much fluids during meals. And don’t eat right before going to bed – give yourself at least a couple of hours. Smoking is also a no no because it adds to the acidity of the stomach. Before taking any over-the-counter medicine, do remember to consult your doctor!

5 You just can’t get comfortable

When your belly grows along with your baby, it gets harder to get comfortable and relaxed in bed. Laying on your bed becomes particularly uncomfortable because the weight of the baby presses on your lower back, compressing the veins and slowing down the return of the blood from your lower body to the heart.

What you can do

Avoid sleeping on your belly. Instead, try sleeping on your left, and use pillows to prop your belly or in between your legs to help you feel more comfortable.

Above all, just try to look forward and remember that you’re in the final stretch. It won’t be long before you are greeted by your new baby. Soon, all this discomfort will be forgotten!

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