All About You
Your body is going through a multitude of changes. From morning sickness, to breakouts reminiscent of your teenage years, to overwhelming fatigue. The cause? Hormones!
Morning sickness grabs all the attention, but fatigue is the real first sign of pregnancy. Your body undergoes rapid changes to accommodate your growing baby-to-be. These changes take a toll on your energy level. You may experience exhaustion with your body—and your mind.
First Signs of Fatigue
Women often have unexplained tiredness before they discover their missed periods, explains Dr. Timothy R.B. Johnson, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Hospital and research facility. "It's important to know that fatigue is normal," says Dr. Johnson.
Get the Rest You Need
Take time to relax your body. Tone down strenuous workouts and seek out more soothing activities. Prenatal yoga or swimming classes will keep you toned, with the added benefit of relieving stress.
Add more sleeping time to your day. Extra sleep reenergizes your body and will leave your mind clearer to contemplate all the questions of impending motherhood. You may also want to invest in a good pregnancy sleep pillow.
Fatigue and Stress
Thinking about your new baby can bring happiness, but it may also add to your stress level. You may wonder about whether to keep your job once the baby is born and how you'll handle the added financial burden of a child. Even everyday concerns like caring for your tiny baby can keep you tossing and turning instead of sleeping or relaxing.
To maximize your relaxation time, find a strategy for dealing with your concerns. Some women find solace in breathing exercises, while others turn to friends or spouses for extra support. Taking warm baths may also soothe your senses (just avoid hot tubs because the high temperatures can pose serious health risks to your developing baby).
If you're not a bather, use warm (not hot) compresses for any sore areas on your body, such as your back or abdomen. You can purchase a heating pad or make one of your own by filling a sock with rice. Tie off the end, then heat it to a comfortable temperature in the microwave. If you choose fragrant rice, like jasmine, you'll have an added aromatherapy element ideal for relaxing your body.