Are you tired of being tired all the time? Try these tips to help to boost your energy when you're expecting.
Does it feel like you're spending the majority of your pregnancy either in bed or wishing you could be? That's completely normal. Pregnancy fatigue is one of the most common—and persistent—pregnancy symptoms, particularly during the first trimester when hormone levels soar.
"Progesterone can make you feel tired," said Christine Miller, M.D., a clinical professor of reproductive medicine at the University of California School of Medicine. "Plus, your body is working extra hard building the placenta and growing your baby." Exhaustion tends to ebb during the second trimester but return later at the end of pregnancy, when your growing baby puts even more demands on your body.
According to Dr. Miller, fatigue is a sign that you need to take it easy — for your sake and your baby's. But because a nap in the middle of the day isn't always an option, here are some tips to give you a boost of energy when you're feeling extra tired.
Get plenty of sleep
Getting at least eight or nine hours of sleep at night can help you feel better during the day. If you're finding it difficult to get some shuteye—particularly as your pregnancy progresses—try improving your sleep habits. Go to bed earlier than normal; power down your phone or tablet at least an hour before bedtime; and meditate or listen to soothing music to help you relax.
Daily exercise gives you a rejuvenating burst of energy — even when you feel tired. Go for a brisk walk around the block with your partner or a friend. Swim laps in the pool at the gym. Or, take a prenatal yoga class. Bonus: Moving your body will also boost your mood.
Eat energy foods
Processed, sugary or fried foods can be a drain on your energy. But fueling up on plenty of fruit and vegetables as well as healthy foods that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates will help to keep your energy up: for example, berries, eggs, and whole grain toast for breakfast; brown rice and beans for lunch; and salmon and veggies for dinner.
Snacking between meals can keep your blood sugar—and, in turn, your energy—steady. Just be sure what you're eating is nutritious and satisfying: fruit and yogurt, trail mix, hummus and veggies, peanut butter and a banana.
Exhaustion is your body's way of telling you it needs rest... so listen to it! Take naps whenever you can: Even 15- or 20-minute power naps can be rejuvenating, and if that's not possible, even sitting down for short breaks can help. Don't feel guilty about making self-care a priority, whether that's saying no to a social obligation or letting the laundry, grocery shopping or other household chores go until tomorrow. And, ask for help from your partner, friends, or family whenever you need it.
Talk to your doctor
Even though fatigue is a common pregnancy symptom, be sure to bring it up to your doctor at your next prenatal appointment, especially if it's intense or persistent. He or she may want to run tests to make sure you're not suffering from anemia, hypothyroidism or another more serious health issue.