Are you sleep-walking through your first trimester? If so, you’re in good company. Fatigue is one of the most prevalent side effects of pregnancy, with more than half of all expectant moms fighting to get out of bed in the morning. Here’s the lowdown on why you’re so tired and what you can do about it:
What’s the deal?
Growing a tiny life form is grueling work, so it’s no wonder you’re exhausted. In the first trimester, when fatigue is most common, your body is putting all the pieces in place to ensure your baby is as healthy as can be. Around the ninth week, your body is busy creating the placenta, which will provide much-needed nutrients for your little one. You may find you’re extra tired around this time.
What you can do
While you can’t kick pregnancy fatigue to the curb entirely, there are some simple and natural ways to help you on the road to feeling better faster:
- Rest: Pregnancy fatigue can be a bit of a blessing. Sure, you feel like you’re operating under a witch’s spell, but indulging in a luxurious afternoon nap is par for the course. Rest up now, as getting some shut-eye in once baby arrives may be a tall order for a while.
- Gentle exercise: Oh, we know it – suggesting exercise to a tired woman sounds like a special kind of torture. But time and time again, science tells us that by getting in some gentle movement, we can boost our energy levels. The next time you feel your eyelids getting heavy, strap on your sneakers and go for a short walk. You may find that getting your blood flowing and your heart pumping helps ease your fatigue, too.
- Eat better: Step away from the sugary snacks! Caffeine and sugar may give you a quick energy boost, but you’re bound to come crashing down – and hard – sooner rather than later. Power up with whole fruits and veggies, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein. A good snack to keep you well-fueled is a piece of rye toast with nut butter and banana.
A cautionary note: As with any new symptom during pregnancy, always sit down and have a conversation with your doctor. If your tiredness is persistent and extreme, your health care provider may choose to check your iron levels to ensure you’re not suffering from anemia.Are you battling pregnancy fatigue? What are some ways you rev up your energy levels? Share your tips with other moms-to-be in the comments below.