You probably knew that pregnancy would make you tired. Family or friends may have even warned you. However, nothing can really prepare you for the extreme level of fatigue that washes over you soon after you become pregnant.
Fatigue is extremely common, and usually normal, in pregnant women. It hits early in the first trimester due to surges in progesterone, a hormone that can make you sleepy. It tends to hit again late in pregnancy when your baby is growing, you’re not sleeping well, and all your body’s energy is going to getting your baby ready to enter the world.
But if you’ve got a job, kids at home, or other daily responsibilities, you might be looking for some tips to make it through the days without falling asleep. Here are some safe ways you can boost your energy levels and feel a little more like yourself:
- Eat balanced meals and snacks. Keep blood sugar levels stable by snacking on protein and fiber-rich foods. Eating only carbs, like crackers, can make your blood sugar rise and then drop, causing fatigue. Instead, try some Greek yogurt with fresh fruit or a handful of nuts with some fresh veggies.
- Get up and move whenever you can. Sitting at your desk all day will make you more tired. Even if you don’t feel much like moving, try to get up and go for a 5-minute walk every hour or so. If you can get outside and enjoy fresh air, even better.
- Stay hydrated. Not drinking enough water can exacerbate fatigue. Your body’s blood volume is increasing, and you need fluids to keep up. Drink at least eight glasses a day, and more if you are exercising regularly. Add fresh berries, cucumber, lemon, or mint if plain water doesn’t appeal to you.
- If your fatigue is extreme or you have shortness of breath, talk to your ob/gyn. You could have anemia, which needs to be treated with iron supplementation.
- Skip the caffeine. Although it can give you a temporary energy surge, too much caffeine isn’t healthy for your growing baby — and you’ll just experience an energy crash later when the effects wear off. Instead, go to bed even a few minutes earlier whenever possible. Those few extra minutes can add up, and may give you the strength you need to get through another day.
Fatigue is unfortunately one of those challenges most women have to deal with during pregnancy. But making healthy choices and getting adequate rest will go a long way toward helping you through the exhausting months ahead. Take good care of yourself and expect that you may need to slow down a little.
CarePoint Health Family Birth Centers
CarePoint Health is dedicated to providing you with the individual care and attention you need so you can relax and focus on what is most important — the birth of your new baby. Contact us today to learn more about our obstetrics and maternity services.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.