Pregnancy is a time when your body is sent into overdrive, working hard to grow a healthy baby, so it’s no surprise you are tired all of the time. But then combine this with the constant need to pee, particularly at night, and it can be a constant battle with fatigue.
In this excerpt from Mama You’ve Got This, an honest guide to pregnancy, Melissa Schweiger Kleinman offers her advice on why waking up to pee during early pregnancy is so frequent amongst mamas-to-be.
Why do I have to pee so much during the night
I’m pretty sure my bladder shrunk to the size of a tiny bean when I was pregnant. During my pre-pregnancy nights I got up to pee at least once or twice in the middle of the night, and then add a baby to my belly and I was making a beeline, or pee-line, to the loo no less than four times a night. I would’ve been happy with a bed pan, though my husband wasn’t so keen on that idea. Most pregnant women deal with the same frequent need to urinate, making it something of an inside joke and a pregnancy rite of passage. Much of my conversations started with: “You won’t believe how much I peed yesterday!”. As a mama-to-be peeing bragging rights are something to be proud of.So why the heck are you peeing so freaking much? The amount of blood in your body increases by about 50% during pregnancy; that’s a lot of fluid moving around in there, much of which gets filtered through your kidneys and eventually finds its way to your bladder. Another reason is the pressure being put on your bladder from that ever expanding uterus of yours. While the need to pee is ongoing during the day, it can ramp up at night thanks to the fluid from your legs and feet now finding its way to your bladder.
Tips to stop waking up so much to pee
Staying hydrated is super important as a mama-to-be, so don’t try anything foolish like not drinking water during the day to stave off your overactive bladder. What you can do is try and lean forward when you pee, to help get all of the urine out of your bladder. Also don’t try to hold it in, as it could lead to the awfulness of a bladder infection. Speaking of which, if you have any pain whilst you pee, see your doctor straight away. It could be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI), which is marked by the feeling of peeing razor blades. You’ll want to get that treated asap, not just to help with the pain, but leaving a UTI untreated could potentially turn into something much worse like a kidney infection or early labour.
Think of it this way: it’s all good training for when the baby arrives and wakes you up every five minutes. Always a silver lining!