Finding pregnancy more exhausting than you ever imagined? Wake up feeling like you can’t lift your head from the pillow? Ready to crawl into bed earlier than ever before.
You are not alone.
For some women, unusual fatigue is the very first alarm bell that they may be pregnant. For many, it lasts from the early weeks right through to delivery, although some ladies find the tiredness eases a little during the second trimester.
There are lots of causes of pregnancy fatigue.
In the beginning, it’s largely due to hormonal changes, and even though your baby is still tiny, there’s the mammoth task of building a placenta to support the growing fetus.
Then there’s the fact that your growing child is gradually taking up more space inside the womb. Your changing shape and baby bump can begin to make sleep more challenging. Finally, in the later stages of pregnancy, the physical task of carrying all that extra weight becomes very tiresome.
Fatigue is a completely normal part of pregnancy, but knowing that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to deal with. If you have a job, responsibilities at home or other children to look after, you’ll need all the energy you can muster to get through each day.
Caffeine intake should be low during pregnancy, so how do you get a bit more get-up-and-go without your morning cuppa joe?
Here’s how to get a bit more spring in your step the healthy way:
While growing inside of you, your baby uses much of the goodness available from your normal diet which, therefore, reduces the amount of nutrients from food available to you, the mother. Lack of certain vitamins and minerals can contribute to tiredness during pregnancy.
Now is the time to supercharge your diet.
Every day you should be eating lots of different fruits and vegetables; lots of healthy protein from foods such as chicken, eggs and legumes; calcium-rich foods like dairy; and carbohydrates from good sources such as whole grains.
Dietary guidelines for pregnant women change regularly, so be careful to follow the advice you’ve been given by your doctor or health advisor.
Snacking can fight off fatigue by keeping your energy levels stable throughout the day. Some women even find it helpful to go for six small meals, although you may prefer to stick to three main meals plus three small snacks.
Although it’s tempting to reach for quick fixes such as chips and chocolate, they offer very little in terms of nutritional benefits for you and your baby. Aim to have some healthy snacks ready to go instead: fruits, nuts and seed mixes, or wholegrain toast, for example.
Take a Prenatal Multivitamin
Taking a prenatal multivitamin supplement while maintaining a healthy diet will ensure that you both have all the vitamins and minerals you need.
A good multivitamin supplement should also contain the recommended amount of folic acid and iron, meaning you only need to remember to take one tablet per day.
If you’re struggling to eat because of nausea or are suffering from morning sickness, taking a prenatal supplement is especially important.
Take a Step Back and Get Help
It’s probably about time to let some things go.
See if you can claim back an hour or so of your day in favor of some extra rest. Or, just let things go a little when you feel tired. Soon, there’ll be a tiny human taking up most of your time, so get some invaluable practice at leaving the laundry, dishes or sweeping up undone for a bit longer.
Look at getting some help with household chores from your partner or choose a professional cleaning company, drop a voluntary commitment or cut down on working overtime. Get more things delivered to cut down on errands and stress.
It’s universally agreed that exercise can boost energy levels, and this still holds true even during pregnancy. However, some common sense is needed to exercise safely when pregnant.
Don’t push yourself to exhaustion, so if you’re starting to feel beat, light-headed or way too hot, stop.
Gentle exercise is ideal; a swim, a walk in the park or taking an antenatal exercise class are all perfect for moms-to-be.
If you’re not getting enough sleep at night, then a daytime nap may be what you need. Don’t feel guilty about the extra downtime: you are growing a small human inside of you!
Finally, if you’ve tried all these tips and you’re still dog-tired, or if things just don’t feel right, see your practitioner as soon as possible.
He or she may want to run some tests to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be affecting your energy levels, such as anemia.
But if you’re healthy and are just going through normal fatigue associated with pregnancy, you can simply follow the tips above and, hopefully, start feeling better and more energetic.
Gehana Kennedy is the owner of vitaminshop.ae, the go-to source for high-quality wellness products including a range of step-by-step formulated vitamins, fitness supplements, and natural skin care products. With innovative ideas and implementation of new technologies, she was able to establish a platform that offers not only quality products but also valuable information for customers.