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Have you just found out that you are expecting a baby? Congratulations! I am sure you are over the moon, perhaps feeling nauseous, and certainly fatigued. Who told you that extreme tiredness is an almost universal early pregnancy symptom before you your your big fat positive ? Nobody, I bet! So, what is it that makes you this tired, and is there anything you can do about it?

Fatigue during early pregnancy, often before you even missed your period, is caused by increased levels of the hormone progesterone. Progesterone can make you feel emotional, ecstatic, and also sleepy. Because early pregnancy is also associated with lower than usual blood sugar levels, your energy levels are likely to be at an all time low. More frequent urination, which is another common pregnancy symptom, might cause you to get up several times during the night, further contributing to your exhaustion. Have you fallen victim to morning sickness yet? If so, the inability to keep down any food, and the act of vomiting itself, will certainly cost you some energy. Try to eat frequent meals, but small ones, to keep your blood sugar up and avoid losing energy. Eat whatever you feel you will be able to keep down, even if that happens to be large amounts of ice cream.

What can you do about early pregnancy fatigue?

Accept that your body is working harder than ever before, and that this feeling, although disrupting, will pass. Acceptance may just be the best strategy here. If you are aware why you are this tired, you might be more likely to try to fight the feeling, and instead relax, and take a nap if you need to. This is the time to allow other people to pamper you! A little light exercise, as much as you feel you are able to handle, could improve your energy levels as well. Taking a walk around the block, or going for a quick swim at your local pool, are both great exercises to make you feel better. As with most things in life, time will bring you the real cure for early-pregnancy tiredness. By the end of your first trimester, you are likely to be feeling a whole lot more energetic, and your nausea will be gone too!

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