by Susan Tanner
If your pregnancy is anything like mine were, you are probably exhausted… all the time.
It is not at all uncommon to experience pregnancy fatigue. It seems only natural that sustaining two lives drains you of more energy than only dealing with your own. Having a fetus growing in your belly most certainly takes its toll on your body.
Pregnancy fatigue is often accompanied by a multitude of aches, pains, and sore muscles. How you deal with these problems will often determine your level of pregnancy fatigue.
Pregnancy fatigue is generally caused by your body adjusting to natural hormonal changes, and the added weight of carrying the baby. You may also be having trouble sleeping due to aches and pains, vivid dreams, or simply too much stress.
1. Get more sleep any way you can
As usual, raging hormones are unavoidable. But losing sleep is a huge contributor to pregnancy fatigue. Pregnancy fatigue is just your body’s way of telling you that it needs more rest. Then it seems reasonable to assume that the way to start alleviating the problem is to sleep more. Try to go to bed earlier, and get about 9-10 hours of sleep per night if you can.
If you are having trouble sleeping, try drinking a non-caffeinated herbal tea or lighting some scented candles. Breathing exercises can also help you to calm your nerves for sleep.
Try taking naps during the day in addition to sleeping more at night, and try to stay off your feet during the day, sitting or laying down whenever possible. Even a quick 20 or 30 minute nap can help to alleviate pregnancy fatigue.
2. Eat an extra 300 calories per day
All of the energy that your body uses to get you through the day comes from the food that you eat and the nutrients you consume. Pregnancy fatigue can be diminished by simply eating the right foods. Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet is key.
Try to eat an extra 300 calories per day. Try to fight the urge to consume endless amounts of junk food and empty calories. If you feel the need to splurge, try eating an apple or something else nutritious to curb your appetite. Iron deficiency is also a leading cause of pregnancy fatigue, so be sure to get enough.
3. Exercise regularly
It may seem counter-productive, but regular light exercise will actually make you feel more energized and help to avoid pregnancy fatigue. Try walking around your neighborhood or mall, or going for a swim. The exercise will leave you feeling energized and refreshed, and will help you to sleep better at night.
Make no mistake about it, some degree of pregnancy fatigue is unavoidable. All pregnant women will experience it. But hopefully, armed with these tips, you can recognize some of the causes and begin to control your pregnancy fatigue.