How to Combat Tiredness During Pregnancy
how to combat tiredness during pregnancy
Tiredness is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms.
It strikes as early as around 5/6 week and, sadly, not many women manage to escape it during the pregnancy. If you’re lucky, the symptoms will slowly disappear after the 1sttrimester - usually around 10-13 weeks. But for some, tiredness and fatigue might stay around for the entire pregnancy (especially if it’s your second child!).For me, the fatigue was a nasty one during my 1sttrimester with my first baby – I remember not being able to stay awake during work meetings or literally struggling to keep my eyes open after lunch. I felt almost like on sleeping pills for the first few weeks - dazed out and groggy! It didn’t matter what I was doing – commuting, sitting at my desk, chatting to a friend… I could literally doze off any minute. A daytime nap was almost a necessity for me, even if it was just 5-10 minutes snooze.
Here are my 8 tips on how to combat tiredness
Let yourself slow down – let’s be honest, ladies, this is the time when you just can and should let go and slow down. Your body is working overtime to set up a nice 'home' for your baby for the next 40 weeks. Forming the placenta is an intensive and exhausting process that requires a lot of your energy during the 1st trimester, so be kind to your body.
Fresh air – it can do wonders. try to get out at least once a day to get some fresh air. If you work in the office, schedule a lunch break with a 10-15 min walk around the block or try to walk to the station/ office. If you work from home, try to get a break – sometimes planning a quick errand or popping into a corner shop to get some things for dinner help to break out the day and get a dose of fresh air.
Early bedtime – you will love this. This is your permission to go to bed EARLY. And I mean, early. Don’t be ashamed of 8 pm bedtime, if that’s what feels right to you. Your body needs a lot of rest and it’s said that hours before midnight count as the most beneficial and restorative sleep time. I totally loved it, and I still embrace the granny life a few nights a week now :)
Eat nourishing foods – nutrition is very important during pregnancy and eating the right foods helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels and provide you with sufficient energy throughout the day. Remember, think quality over quantity and focus on nutrition-dense foods. Check out this post for some ideas on healthy snacks.
Be realistic with what you can do – don’t strain yourself and don’t beat yourself up for not having the same stamina as before the pregnancy days. Knowing when to let things go or just to put your feet up is the best you can do. I am that ‘I-do-it-all-myself’ type person and I know it’s hard to let go, just sit down and be in the moment. The truth is - there will always be something to do. You will never do it all. But trust me, you will need to learn the art of letting go before the baby comes! Look out for signs of being overtired (mood changes, cravings, sleepiness) and ask for help with even the most trivial tasks (‘can you bring me a glass of water, babe?’).
Listen to your body – How did you feel after eating that nourishing bowl of porridge this morning? Can you really manage a 5K run tomorrow? How did you feel after that extra hour of sleep the other night? Tune in and listen to what your body is saying. Ask yourself questions and be curious. Your body knows best and will tell you what feels right. All you need to do is to listen and don’t ignore the messages it tries to send you.
Rest your body when a nap isn’t an option – putting yourself in a horizontal position and closing your eyes, even for a few minutes, calms us down and fights off the tiredness. If you can’t lie down, try to sit comfortably and close your eyes. It is called the ‘quiet wakefulness’ – it helps our mind to calm and our organs and muscles to relax. It is an effective and easy way to reduce stress, increase alertness and improve your mood. That all can bring you an extra boost of energy after just a few minutes.
Meditate or do breathing exercises – it really works. It does the magic when you want to relax and unwind. It also helps you to get to know yourself and tune in to your body and of course has many long-term benefits. If you’re struggling to doze off at night, it is also a perfect way to put yourself to sleep – I certainly did fall asleep with my headphones in many times! I use the guided meditations by Headspace or a simple breathing technique, but there are many apps or recordings on YouTube you can use these days. One of my favorite breathing techniques is 4-7-8 by Dr. Andrew Weil.
Has tiredness during pregnancy affected you? How did you cope?
I'd love to hear your comments below or over on Instagram!