Pregnancy can take a lot out of you. If you’re an expecting mother, chances are you’ve noticed your energy levels start to wane over the past few months. All of a sudden, you’re wishing you were in bed most of the day, you’re falling asleep earlier and you can’t make it through the afternoon without a nap. But don’t worry: You’re not alone.
Fatigue is an incredibly common symptom during pregnancy. According to Fit Pregnancy and Baby, pregnancy fatigue is extremely widespread during the first trimester, when hormone levels soar. During the second trimester, exhaustion can start to level out, only to quickly return later in the third trimester, when the baby puts even more demands on your body.
Needless to say, fatigue is normal, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Particularly if you’re working during pregnancy, caring for another child or simply trying to get through the day-to-day, fatigue does not help the situation. So how can you keep your energy up during pregnancy? Here are a few ideas.
First and foremost, make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep from the very beginning. In today’s fast-paced world, sleep tends to fall to the backburner for most people, but as you walk through pregnancy, it should be high on your priorities list. Be sure to get at least eight to nine hours of sleep per night to help you function better during the day. If falling and staying asleep is a struggle for you, consider a few tips to sleep better:
●Turn off devices at least an hour before bed and leave them in a separate room.
●Spend time meditating before bed.
●Listen to soothing music to help you relax.
●Sleep with a pregnancy pillow to feel more comfortable.
If you’re getting enough sleep, but still find yourself feeling sluggish throughout the day, exercise could be the key to beating fatigue. This might sound counter-intuitive, but exercising can actually help boost your energy levels. One study conducted by the University of George suggests that “...people can increase their energy levels by 20 percent, and decrease their fatigue by 65 percent, simply by going out and getting some exercise.” While exercising during pregnancy might seem overwhelming (or even impossible), there are actually quite a few ways to get your exercise in safely and boost your energy. For example, check out our recent blog article on Healthy Ideas for Exercising During Pregnancy.
However, exercising is only part of the story. Your diet also plays a major role in fatigue during the day. Processed, sugary or fried foods might sound delicious, but they can actually drain what little energy you do have during pregnancy. Instead, fuel up on plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as foods that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates. For instance, try berries, eggs and whole grain toast for breakfast; brown rice and beans for lunch; and salmon and veggies for dinner.
And of course, make sure you are drinking plenty of water during the day. Water plays a significant role in your health overall, so it’s only fitting that it would help ease your pregnancy by boosting energy levels. In fact, your recommended daily water intake increases during pregnancy. What to Expect advocates drinking between eight and ten 8-ounce glasses of water throughout the day. Whenever you feel sluggish, drained or just downright out of it, gulp down some water for a quick boost.
There’s no doubt that pregnancy can drain all of your energy. Fortunately, there are ways to fight fatigue and keep up with the challenging tasks of day-to-day life. By prioritizing your sleep every night, exercising routinely, eating well and drinking plenty of water, you can keep your energy levels up and feel better overall. Keep these tips in mind for a healthier and happier pregnancy, full of energy.