One of the most common symptoms of pregnancy is an intense and apparently unexplained fatigue, which often is accompanied by excessive sleep. Pregnant women in early pregnancy tires for everything and nothing and the bed always seems to be the place where you feel better. Even women who have historically always slept little or they were full of energy capable of accumulating multiple tasks and sports professionals end collapsed from exhaustion and sleep in pregnancy. Sometimes even an entire chapter of a soap opera gets to see without falling asleep.
For some women the word fatigue may sound like an understatement because what you really feel is much more than fatigue is a feeling of exhaustion. With the end of the first quarter the symptoms tend to disappear and the expectant mother feels good again. However, fatigue again in the third trimester when the baby is very large and the pregnant woman in addition to the big belly is with at least 10 to 12 kilos above his usual weight. In this article we will do a review on fatigue and sleep affecting pregnant women in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy.
Fatigue and excessive sleep occur in the first quarter having at first nothing to do with the weight of the fetus or belly size. Fatigue and sleep originate in the hormonal and physiological changes that the woman’s body begins to suffer in the first weeks of pregnancy. Among the various hormones change during pregnancy, progesterone is the most outstanding. During pregnancy, levels of this hormone suffer increased more than 500%. Progesterone is essential for the maintenance of pregnancy and fetal development; however, it causes many side effects, with the feeling of extreme fatigue and excessive sleep a major.
In addition to the direct action of progesterone in the central nervous system, which causes intense sleep in pregnancy various physiological changes in the body and the body of women, many of them also stimulated by progesterone itself collaborate to fatigue. Pregnant women in the first few weeks, in addition to developing fetus need to generate the placenta, which will nourish the baby during pregnancy.
This process requires a lot of energy expenditure making the woman’s body prioritizes the development of pregnancy to the detriment of their daily activities. The demand for oxygen in the body to maintain a pregnancy comes to have an increase of 20%. One of the effects of progesterone is to stimulate the brain area responsible for controlling breathing to increase basal respiratory rate of pregnant women, offsetting the increased need for oxygen in the body.
Pregnant women therefore and breathe faster than usual and used part of inspired oxygen to the developing fetus and placenta. As such, any physical activity that requires a greater increase in oxygen consumption tends to be intolerable mainly by women who were sedentary before pregnancy and have a heart-lung capacity below the desired.
The fetus and placenta also require blood and some blood flow is diverted to the new human being developing. Besides shunting of blood pregnancy hormones also stimulate a decrease in blood pressure caused by vasodilatation of the arteries. So in pregnant women is a lower blood pressure to irrigate a larger area of tissue than usual.