Week 12 | + 8 lbs
Week 12 of my pregnancy is the most exciting week yet! Firstly, the miscarriage rate drops dramatically after week 12, which, as is commonplace, means that my husband and I can finally start telling our friends and extended family about our pregnancy, and truly celebrate without fear or reservation, ourselves! Secondly, the fatigue that I have struggled with throughout the first few months of pregnancy, is supposed to ease in the second trimester!
Fatigue ranks high among first trimester symptoms, and, although I am fortunate to not have had any nausea or vomiting, found fatigue to be debilitating on many days. This poses as a serious challenge, as I am my business’s only full-time employee, and it was be extremely difficult to find someone to cover could not work—my husband had to call out sick from his own job to cover for me the one time I was sick with food poisoning two years ago. During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone soar, which can put you to sleep. At the same time, lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and increased blood production also cause one’s energy levels to take a plunge.
In celebration of Month 3 and transitioning out of my first trimester, here are the top 3 ways to beat fatigue for a pregnant athlete from my experience.
- Stay active, but work out early. I find that my energy levels drop significantly after lunchtime, and I can barely keep my eyes open at work in the afternoons. Studies have shown that exercise will make you feel better, and may boost your baby’s brain. To combat fatigue, I schedule all my workouts in the morning, if possible, when I’m much more motivated to move.
- Sleep, sleep and more sleep. Adjust your schedule so that you can get the rest your body and baby need. Not only have I found that I need more sleep at night, now needing up to nine or ten hours when I was content with seven before, I also need to take naps too, and I am sure most pregnant women feel the same way. On weekends, I will often wake up early to run with Team In Training, indulge in brunch, shower, and then happily hit the hay for a two- or three-hour nap.
- Listen to your (sore) body. I noticed immediately that my muscles are often sore after workouts whereas they were not pre-pregnancy. Whereas I used to take advanced yoga classes without soreness, a beginner’s class will leave me aching for up to three or four days, and whereas I used to run 20 miles or more at a time without any post-run side effects, my quads are still crying from the 30-minute speed work I completed two nights ago. I haven’t found any specific reasons for this issue—many websites direct pregnant readers to stretch more, which is makes me chuckle as a yogini. One piece of advice I give to others is to, as always, listen to your body. If you are extremely sore, but scheduled for an easy run today, take a break instead. There is always tomorrow.
Week 11 (1/5-11) training: 12 miles
Sunday: 5 miles
Saturday: 7 miles