There is this notion that pregnancy is all amazing and wonderful and feels like walking on clouds. Well, maybe for some, but for others there is a lot more to it.
At the beginning of my first pregnancy, the first two months to be exact, I experienced extreme fatigue. I would feel it in my shoulders without having to do much of anything.
I was a college student living on campus, so I did a lot walking to get to the dorm, to class, to the cafeteria, and to the library. I would be walking somewhere, usually to class, and this feeling of exhaustion would hit me . It would feel like I had done 100 pull ups and make it difficult to raise my arms. Then it would trickle down through my body to my feet, making the simple task of walking feel like a struggle. I would have to sit down and rest.
Eventually, I realized that when I ate food with protein, the fatigue would quickly fade and disappear. So, with every pregnancy after that one, I knew what to do.
This is a tip that some people don’t know about. Your doctor may tell you rest when you feel tired. Rest does not work for everyone. Even eating a bit of protein won’t work for everyone but this may help somebody that has not tried it yet.
So if you are experiencing fatigue while you are pregnant, you have tried resting but notice that you are only sleeping your pregnancy away, try snacking on a protein bar, scramble an egg, drink some milk or add some more meat to your meals.
Is it normal to have aches and pains in early pregnancy?
Yes! It is, unfortunately, completely normal to have aches and pains in early pregnancy. Your body is going through changes that it is not accustomed to.
Your uterus is stretching constantly to make more room for the baby. The stretching ligaments cause sharp pains and cramping.
Your feet are growing to support the added weight. You may not notice the added ounces that your body is accumulating, but your body does.
Your back muscles have to support your growing belly and the weight of the baby. All of these are normal processes during pregnancy.
I did not experience much of this with my first, second, and third pregnancies but I did experience a lot of this and much more with my fourth and fifth pregnancies. Remember, every pregnancy is different.
What aches and pains are normal during pregnancy?
Fatigue is super normal during pregnancy. Your body is working hard to grow your developing baby. This is a good thing. I know it does not feel that great, but your body is doing everything it is supposed to do.
Headaches are common. More hormones are being dispersed which causes headaches. I am not a physician, so I can’t really explain it more in depth than that, lol.
I can say that the level of hormones your body produces during pregnancy increases until about 10-12 weeks, which means this is the time for potential headaches.
Then the levels start lowering and eventually level off for the rest of the pregnancy. You may notice the amount of headaches get lower throughout your pregnancy.
Stomach cramps are normal in early pregnancy. In my first pregnancy, I experienced stomach cramps for about a week during the first month.
This was so scary to me because I had a very strong work ethic and didn’t want me being pregnant to affect me getting a college degree. I never slowed down with my classes, never slowed my walking pace, and I used to walk so fast to make sure I got to class on time, so I was afraid that I was causing harm to the baby.
I spoke to my doctor and was assured that my work ethic had nothing to do with the pain I was feeling. He explained to me that the ligaments surrounding my uterus was stretching because the baby was getting bigger.
He calmed my fears but also told me not to over exert myself and to listen to my body, which I have been doing ever since. Now, I always suggest to expecting moms to listen to their bodies because it does help to learn what causes certain issues.
What helps with body aches during pregnancy?
For fatigue, eating more protein has helped me. Before I was pregnant, I would skip breakfast every day but that was not a good habit. I had to change my routine so that I could get up early enough to eat breakfast and I would make sure to have eggs along with my grits and fresh fruit.
Headaches are not so easy to cure. Always call your doctor when you have pain because they will recommend safe options such as what medications you can take or what herbal substances could help.
I would use a warm, not hot, damp face towel to lay on top of my stomach while laying flat on my back and vice versa. My doctor recommended it. At the time, I hated taking medication because I felt like it was not necessary to relieve mild pain and I was worried about causing long term side effects for my baby. In fact, with every pregnancy I have had, I did my best not to result in taking pain medicine.
Foot rubs and massages really help with swelling feet. Also, prop your feet up whenever you are able to. This will help with the swelling and help to relieve the pressure your feet experience from walking and standing.
I know it is not always an available option to prop your feet up because you may be working 8, 10, or 12 hour shifts at your job. Try to sit more often if you can.
Being a college student during my first pregnancy allowed me to sit down a lot but I worked 8 hour shifts while I was pregnant with my second child in a retail store and they did not allow sitting while working.
So, I get it. If this is the case for you, try asking for an extra break or to add a few more minutes to the breaks you already get.
If you find these tips helpful and would like more information on this topic, let me know. Leave me a comment or email me at [email protected]