Tired During Pregnancy --- Causes
and Top 8 Natural Remedies

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November 22, 2012, last updated November 18, 2014
By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
and Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and other
members of our Editorial Board.]

Pregnancy is a unique and wonderful stage in a woman’s life but
chances are you’re feeling more gosh-darned exhausted than
glowing, particularly if you are in your first trimester.

Feeling tired is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy
and you’re not alone if you’re struggling to keep your eyes open
for your favorite 8pm show. Many women feel tired during the
first three months of their pregnancy, but for most (though not
all) the fatigue lifts during the second trimester, only to return
with the extra weight in the final months.

Some lucky ladies sail through with minimal disruption to their
sleep patterns or energy levels, while others – particularly those
caring for young children – feel exhausted for pretty much nine
months. You can’t put your life on hold because you are
pregnant, but how do you cope with the tiredness? Why are you
so tired and are there any natural remedies to help keep your
eyes open?

What Are the Causes of Being Tired During Pregnancy?

As with many aspects of pregnancy where there are no hard-and-
fast answers, no one has yet been able to say definitively why
women feel tired during pregnancy.  One of the causes may be
the rapid and dramatic increase in the hormone progesterone
that occurs particularly during the early stages of pregnancy.

You also experience
lower blood sugar levels when you're
pregnant, increased blood production and
lower blood pressure,
all of which cost you energy. Fatigue during pregnancy may be a
sign of
iron-deficiency anemia, which you should be tested for in
the early stages.

There’s more. Your sleep patterns are disrupted during
pregnancy when you feel heavy, uncomfortable and constantly
needing to get up to pee.

You are more likely to suffer from "
restless legs syndrome",
which makes falling asleep difficult.

If you are anxious about the birth or the baby you will feel your
energy levels drop. Nausea and vomiting are hard on your body
and make you tired. And, of course, it’s hard work growing a
whole new person, even if nothing seems to be happening on the
outside!  Small wonder you feel like you’ve climbed a mountain at
the end of each day.

Why Sleep Is Important during Pregnancy

Getting enough rest when you are pregnant is very important.
Several studies have indicated that sleep disturbances and poor
sleep can create complications, and can even affect the type of
labor you experience. For example, a 2011 study from Shaheed
Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran showed that
women who suffered poor sleep quality in the last three weeks of
their pregnancy (around six hours of sleep a night compared to
eight for those who reported good sleep quality) were 20
percent more likely to have a cesarean and more likely to have a
longer labor.

Health care providers should prescribe eight hours of sleep
during pregnancy to assure adequate sleep and doctors should
counsel women about sleep quantity and quality, according to a
2004 study from University of California-San Francisco, School of
Nursing. Researchers found women who slept less than six hours
a night had longer labors and were 4.5 times more likely to have
a cesarean delivery.

And poor sleep quality is linked to an increased risk of pre-term
delivery, according to a 2011 report by the University of
Pittsburgh School of Medicine. With every one-point increase on
the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the chances of pre-term birth
increased 25 percent in early pregnancy and 18 percent in later

With the massive transformations going on inside the body and
mind, it is no wonder that women have turned to natural
remedies for centuries to help ease them through pregnancy. We’
ve looked at the scientific evidence for fatigue-busters to see if
any can help you feel more awake.

Remember, check with your doctor
before trying any natural
remedy, exercise or activity when you are pregnant. Even
completely natural remedies can cause complications for pregnant

Fix Anemia to Cure Pregnancy Fatigue

Anemia is a common condition during pregnancy and it is usually
caused by an iron deficiency. In fact, according to the World
Health Organization,  14% of pregnant women in the United
States, Canada, the UK and other industrialized nations have
anemia and so do up to 56% of pregnant women in developing

The solution of course if to increase the amount of iron in your

But taking an iron supplement can often irritate the stomach and
make morning sickness symptoms worse. A 2007 study from
Flinders Medical Centre and Women's & Children's Hospital, North
Adelaide, Australia showed that a low dose of 20mg a day was
just as effective as 40mg or 80mg of iron at treating pregnancy
anemia, and resulted in fewer side effects. Be careful if you are
not anemic and you take more than the recommended daily
allowance of iron in pregnancy – too much iron could be harmful
for you and your baby. (Read more about
foods that help
improve anemia.)

Go to Bed Earlier to Prevent Fatigue when Pregnant

Sounds obvious, right? If there’s ever a time when you can
confidently slope off to bed at 9pm, it’s during pregnancy. But
many pregnant women are not sleeping as well or as long as they
can. Experts suggest that you could improve your sleep patterns
by maintaining a regular and earlier bedtime so you have more
opportunity to get good quality sleep at night. These researchers
completed a 2011 study at the National Taiwan University, Taipei
and found the later pregnant women went to bed, the poorer
their sleep quality and consequently the greater their tiredness
the next day. (Read more about
simple tips to get a better night's

Prevent Restless Legs Syndrome during Pregnancy to Improve

One of the reasons why pregnant women find it hard to stay
awake during the day is having a bad sleep the night before. And
restless legs syndrome, where your legs twitch, itch and ache
uncontrollably in the evening or in bed, is common when you are
pregnant. According to a 2004 study from the Sleep Disorders
Center at Vita-Salute University in Milan, Italy more than 26
percent of pregnant women are affected by
restless legs
syndrome, most in their third trimester. Nearly 25 percent of
women had one episode a week and around 15 percent reported
the condition three or more times a week. As a result, the women
slept less and were more likely to be very tired during the day.
(Read more about
natural remedies for restless legs syndrome.)

Iron and folate, two substances that are closely related to
pregnancy, could be responsible for restless legs syndrome. A
1998 report from Johns Hopkins University Department of
Psychology, Baltimore showed those women with the most
severe symptoms also had the lowest serum ferritin levels, a
measure of iron deficiency. And folate may help remedy restless
legs – MI Botez in 1976 found that giving pregnant women 5 to
30mg of folate a day helped decrease symptoms. Check with your
doctor as to how much folate you can safely take.

Have a Massage to Stop Feeling Tired During Pregnancy

Massage is a great way to unwind and relax before bedtime to
ensure you get a good night’s sleep, so get your partner to give
you a massage (concentrate on the back, steering clear of your
breasts and belly).  Massage can also help remedy restless legs
syndrome. And this indulgent therapy could even reduce the risk
of pre-term birth, low birth weight and postpartum depression,
according to a 2009 study from University of Miami Medical
School.  Pregnant women who suffered major depression were
prescribed 12 weeks of twice-weekly massage therapy and
experienced reduced depression and were less likely to have low
birth weight and premature babies.

Certain kinds of
massage can also lower blood pressure.

Yoga Helps Remedy Fatigue in Pregnancy

Add a little yoga to your life, along with weekly massages, and
you could be on to a winner.

Yoga improves energy levels, is good for the circulation, it
relieves pregnancy aches and pains and it helps improve your
flexibility. Plus it’s easier to motivate yourself for a gentle yoga
session than half an hour on the treadmill. Women who suffered
persistent fatigue following breast cancer improved their energy
levels with a 12-week course of Iyengar
yoga, according to a
2011 study from UCLA. (Read more about the
Top 10 healthy
benefits of yoga.)

A 2012 study from the University of Miami Medical School showed
that yoga reduced depression, anxiety and back and leg pain.
Yoga and massage therapy also reduced the risk of pre-term birth
and low birth weight.

Join a class especially for pregnant women or tell your regular
yoga teacher that you are pregnant. Not all postures are ideal for
pregnancy and you don’t want to overstretch. (Read more about
the Top 10
health benefits of yoga.)

Relaxation Therapies to Ease Pregnancy Tiredness

There are different types of relaxation therapies available that
could help you regain your pre-pregnancy energy levels.
Relaxation therapy starts with relaxation of the body followed by
guided meditation, breathing exercises, guided imagery, or
progressive relaxation techniques.

Women in their second trimester who took part in applied
relaxation training reduced their stress and anxiety levels and
improved their sleep, according to a 2005 study from Tarbiat
Modarres University, Tehran, Iran.

Homeopathic Remedies for Pregnancy Fatigue

According to the American Medical College of Homeopathy, taking
Ferrum Phos 12X three times daily helps remedy fatigue during
pregnancy. If you are interested in homeopathy, see a
professional practitioner who can advise you which remedies to
take for pregnancy ailments. As with all natural remedies, it is not
advisable to self-medicate when you are pregnant.

Eat and Drink Right to Keep Pregnancy Energy Levels High

When you are expecting you need around 300 extra calories
extra a day to keep your energy levels high. However, you don’t
want to gain too much weight so those extras should not come
from candy or chips. Keep your diet full of fruit, vegetables, skim
milk and dairy, lean meat, fish and whole grains. Snack on yogurt,
fruit or cereal bars. You may have resorted to energy drinks or an
over-sized cup of coffee pre-pregnancy but now you should rely
on water to keep hydrated and filled with energy. (Read more
about an
ideal diet for pregnancy.)

Pregnancy-What to Eat / Normal Blood Sugar During
Pregnancy /High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy/ Spotting
During Pregnancy -When Is it Serious?
Ideal Diet to Prevent Preeclampsia / Blood Pressure -What It
Means /Blood Pressure Chart / Ideal Breakfast for Diabetics /
Ideal Breakfast for Hypoglycemia /Foods That Shrink Your
Waist/ Foods That Reduce Blood Pressure
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Eat enough chicken and beef  to avoid being tired during pregnancy
Eat enough chicken and beef to avoid feeling tired during pregnancy.