Is It Normal To Feel So Tired?April C. Sanchez, M.D.
Q Is it normal to feel so tire during my last month of pregnancy? I can't seem to get enough sleep. I'm currently working til the baby's born. I can't even walk around the mall without feeling drained and my feet throbbing. I feel so old and crippled!
A The fatigue that you are experiencing is to be expected during the final month of pregnancy, along with other discomforts. Although an uncomplicated pregnancy is a normal, physiologic state and not an illness, it does put a certain strain on your body. Shortness of breath is a common complaint as the due date approaches. Your blood volume has increased significantly and your heart is working harder than ever. The diaphragm is a muscular "floor" under the lungs which moves downward as the lungs expand when you take a breath. The growing fetus physically prevents the diaphragm from moving as far as it can in the non-pregnant state. This can contribute to shortness of breath and the feeling of inability to take a deep breath. Often, the shortness of breath is exacerbated when lying on your back.
The increased weight associated with a full-term pregnancy can also cause certain discomforts. You mentioned that your feet are throbbing and I'm sure your back hurts, too. Often, swelling in your feet can also make matters worse. As you get close to delivery, the cartilage in your pelvis becomes softer in preparation for birth. This can cause pelvic and hip pain, which is worsened with walking. You may also experience contractions, some of which can be painful, as you get closer to labor.
As long as you are compliant with your scheduled check-ups and everything is going well medically, you may continue to work and shop until the time of delivery. However, your body may tell you to slow down some. And, if you think you can't get enough sleep now, wait until you're getting up every couple of hours with a newborn!!
Best of luck with your delivery and new baby...
April C. Sanchez, M.D.
Click here to Ask Dr. Sanchez your pregnancy questions.
Dr Sanchez lives with her husband and two boys ages 6 and 2 in Mandeville, Louisinana. She is a Board Certified OBGYN with a dregree from Louisiana State University Medical School. She completed her residency through the Tulane University Medical School Residency Program. She also received a Surgical Excellence Award.
Total Woman Care
She is now practicing Obstetrics and Gynecology at Total Woman Care, in Manderville, Louisiana. The Total Woman Care website, (http://www.totalwomancare.com) is an "Advanced" Obstetrics and Gynecology Practice that cares and provides for the needs of women with total Compassion, Empathy, and Understanding. Dedicated to Provide Obstetrics and Gynecology Related Information for the Women of West St Tammany Parish.
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