No matter who you are or how many children you have, pregnancy is a challenge. Not only do you have a lot to prepare for, but your body is undergoing serious changes, and you still have the day-to-day struggles of normal life going on. Plus, pregnancy hormones are raging inside of your body!
All of this can lead to significant fatigue. After all, you are creating a whole new baby! However, you still have to live normal life, despite the exhaustion you might feel. So, how can you combat fatigue? Here are the best ways to fight pregnancy fatigue.
Get plenty of sleep.
One of the simplest ways to fight pregnancy fatigue is by getting plenty of sleep whenever you can. This might be easier said than done, but should be an intentional decision you make daily. Fit Pregnancy recommends getting at least eight or nine hours of sleep each night if possible, to help you feel better throughout the rest of the day. When you do find yourself feeling tired during the day, try to re-energize by taking short power naps whenever feasible.
Eat well and often.
Healthy eating is also an important part of maintaining high energy. Processed, sugary or fried foods tend to do more harm than good, and can drain any energy you do have. Instead, fuel up with plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein and complex carbohydrates to build up your energy. In addition to eating well, eat often. Eat small snacks often in between meals to keep your blood sugar—and energy—steady.
Oftentimes during pregnancy, you might feel fatigued simply because you’re dehydrated. Your body needs extra hydration during pregnancy, and because many women don’t drink enough water, they end up feeling overwhelmingly fatigued. Fortunately, you can boost your energy simply by upping your water intake throughout the day. Keep a water bottle with you constantly so you always have a source of water on hand. And of course, remember: if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
When you feel fatigued, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. But, it can actually help you battle fatigue in more ways than one. The more you move, the more your cells move, which invigorates the body and gets your energy back up. When you feel extra sleepy, try doing simple exercises like taking a 20-minute walk, practicing yoga or going for a swim. For more ideas on how to exercise safely while pregnant, see our article on The Why, What and How of Exercising While Pregnant.
Slow it down.
Of course, if your fatigue is too strong, don’t be afraid to slow it down. This can be tough, particularly for moms who have a lot to do on their plate, but be sure to make “relaxation” a priority on your list. Slow down by asking others to step in and help, say no to a social obligation or even let the laundry and groceries go for awhile. Make self-care a priority and don’t be afraid to take time off and focus on relaxation and rejuvenation. Once you’ve slowed down, you’ll feel reinvigorated and less fatigued.
Take prenatal vitamins.
Prenatal vitamins can also play a valuable role in making sure you don’t feel overwhelmed with fatigue. Prenatal vitamins ensure you get all of the necessary vitamins and nutrients for you and your growing baby. They can also aid you in boosting energy levels. If you’re not sure where to start with prenatal vitamins, ask your doctor for recommendations and see how you can get started.
Finally, be realistic about what to expect from your body during pregnancy. It’s not fair to assume you will have the same energy levels as pre-pregnant you so be sure to approach pregnancy with realistic expectations for yourself. If necessary, rework your schedule around what your body needs so you can create a realistic set of standards, without feeling overly fatigued.
Fatigue is a very common problem many women face during pregnancy. However, with intentional steps, it can easily be overcome. Use these ways to fight fatigue and see how you feel better throughout pregnancy.