While pregnancy fatigue may make expectant mothers grumpy, it can also work to boost their self-esteem.
Fatigue during pregnancy is a common symptom, especially in the later trimesters. After all, the female body is busy growing new life, so it’s bound to get more tired than usual. An expectant mom may find it difficult to keep her eyes open during the afternoon and conks out anytime her head hits the pillow.
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While this may seem like an extremely unpleasant side-effect, one mother said that her lack of sleep during pregnancy did wonders for her self-confidence. In a column for Aletia, Anna O’Neil explained that she often spent the majority of her pregnancies worrying over what was to come and feeling unsure of herself. She came to feel bad for feeling exhausted at the end of the day.
Despite putting all of her effort into taking care of her kids, the household, and being pregnant, she still felt like a failure. However, a change of mindset during her most recent pregnancy changed her exhaustion-induced stresses into a healthier outlook.
“What if instead of using the fatigue as proof of my own not-enough-ness, I used it as an opportunity to give my self-respect a different foundation?” she explained. O’Neil said she had to learn to be more self-accepting. “Even when I’m not doing my best, and I’m struggling to cope, it’s still okay. Life is messy like that. Everybody has bad days,” she said.
Above all, the mother emphasized the need for self-love and self-care. It’s normal to feel more tired during pregnancy, but it’s not normal to allow that to foster feelings of self-deprecation and negativity.
“I could take these waves of discouragement and frustration and use them to try to bully myself into doing more than my body is telling me I can,” O’Neil explained. “I could take the laundry list of what needs to be done, and use it to prove to myself that I’m inadequate. Or, I can use this time to learn to trust myself, to listen to my body, to be gentle with myself.”
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There are ways to manage pregnancy fatigue during pregnancy that can also help with mental well-being.
According to What to Expect, above all, an expecting mother should find time for herself to enjoy her time before baby. Even if it’s as simple as taking an evening off only to catch up on Netflix or as elaborate as going to a spa, that me-time is necessary.
The site also recommends doing things to help reduce your tiredness, including getting to bed earlier or having more relaxed moments in the day. They also emphasize eating well (and reducing coffee if it affects your anxiety) and also being sure to keep active and moving. And of course, don’t be hesitant to reach out to loved ones for support and help.