Pregnancy (cont.)

Fatigue, sleep problems

During pregnancy, you might have:

During your pregnancy, you might feel tired even after you've had a lot of sleep. Many women find they're exhausted in the first trimester. Don't worry, this is normal! This is your body's way of telling you that you need more rest. In the second trimester, tiredness is usually replaced with a feeling of well being and energy. But in the third trimester, exhaustion often sets in again. As you get larger, sleeping may become more difficult. The baby's movements, bathroom runs, and an increase in the body's metabolism might interrupt or disturb your sleep. Leg cramping can also interfere with a good night's sleep.

What might help:

  • Lie on your left side.
  • Use pillows for support, such as behind your back, tucked between your knees, and under your tummy.
  • Practice good sleep habits, such as going to bed and getting up at the same time each day and using your bed only for sleep and sex.
  • Go to bed a little earlier.
  • Nap if you are not able to get enough sleep at night.
  • Drink needed fluids earlier in the day, so you can drink less in the hours before bed.

Heartburn and indigestion

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During pregnancy, you might have:

Hormones and the pressure of the growing uterus cause indigestion and heartburn. Pregnancy hormones slow down the muscles of the digestive tract. So food tends to move more slowly and digestion is sluggish. This causes many pregnant women to feel bloated.

Hormones also relax the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This allows food and acids to come back up from the stomach to the esophagus. The food and acid causes the burning feeling of heartburn. As your baby gets bigger, the uterus pushes on the stomach making heartburn more common in later pregnancy.

What might help:

  • Eat several small meals instead of three large meals -- eat slowly.
  • Drink fluids between meals -- not with meals.
  • Don't eat greasy and fried foods.
  • Avoid citrus fruits or juices and spicy foods.
  • Do not eat or drink within a few hours of bedtime.
  • Do not lie down right after meals.

Call the doctor if:

Symptoms don't improve after trying these suggestions. Ask your doctor about using an antacid.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/14/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Pregnancy - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe usual or unusual experiences had with your pregnancy, food cravings, morning sickness, edema (etc.)
Pregnancy - Signs Question: How did you find out you were pregnant?
Pregnancy - Morning Sickness Question: Did you suffer from morning sickness during your pregnancy? What helped relieve your symptoms?
Pregnancy - Heartburn and Indigestion Question: Did you have heartburn or indigestion during your pregnancy? What helped to relieve symptoms?
Pregnancy - Stretch Marks and Skin Changes Question: What skin changes did you notice during your pregnancy? How did you treat them?

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