Waking up after a sleepless night and preparing for another long day of exhaustion can leave new mothers wondering how to beat pregnancy fatigue.
This common occurrence hinders expecting women throughout their busy lives, but time doesn’t stop for anyone! It can be tough to get out of bed, let alone perform at a high level at work AND find time for yourself and for your significant other or friends.
Before we give you our top tips on how to beat pregnancy fatigue, let’s explain what it is and why it affects so many of us.
What does pregnancy fatigue feel like?
If you’ve never felt any level of fatigue before, it can cause great concern. A general feeling of exhaustion, and inability to think clearly overwhelms you.
Fatigue in general is a condition where you just feel “worn out”. It can happen to high level athletes, or those who work crazy long hours for a long period of time. It can also be characterized by laziness, where you have done absolutely nothing on a given day but you still can’t get yourself off the couch to load the dishwasher.
Fatigue is completely natural, though. Its natures way of telling your body that you need to slow down to avoid harming yourself physically, or psychologically.
Why does pregnancy make you so tired?
Now that you know what fatigue is in general, it's pretty easy to understand why pregnancy fatigue happens. There are a number of factors that can contribute to it.
You probably already know how much more difficult it is getting good sleep while pregnant. Running on 5 hours of sleep a few weeks in a row will wear you down physically and mentally, and fatigue sets in.
On top of that, morning sickness drains you. Dehydration contributes to this, but more so the inability to keep food down. Calories and nutrients fuel your body, and when you can’t keep those nutrients down, or don’t consume them in the first place because you have no appetite, you have no fuel source.
Your changing hormones can also contribute to pregnancy fatigue. In particular, increased progesterone makes you sleepier than normal. Your heart also needs to work harder to support the extra life inside you. On top of borrowing your blood supply, your growing baby siphons nutrients off you, depleting vital nutrients like iron from your system.
Last but not least, you are carrying more and more weight around each week that passes. The deeper into your pregnancy you get, the more this added weight will be a factor.
Now, I know what you’re saying - “How can I get more energy during pregnancy?” Don’t worry, because now, we’re going to give you our favorite tips on how to beat pregnancy fatigue.
When to see a doctor for pregnancy fatigue
More often than not, pregnancy fatigue is just a normal part of the journey. But, sometimes it can be indicative of an underlying medical condition, such as:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
If you are experiencing any other symptoms other than pregnancy fatigue, bring it up at your next appointment or better yet, call your doctor to discuss.
How to beat pregnancy fatigue in 5 simple steps
Battling your pregnancy fatigue is as simple as working a bit harder to be healthier. This sounds difficult while you don’t have energy as it is, but you just need to push through a bit, and you will start to feel better as you make changes to your daily regimen.
Get your diet in check
Empty calories sound appealing during pregnancy, I know. But, you need to give your body what it actually needs - a nutrient dense, healthy diet. Eat a healthy variety of veggies and fruits, and steer clear of junk food (for the most part - everything in moderation, right?).
Fast digesting foods like bread will not help your case here. High iron, high protein, low fat is the key here. And, don’t forget to stay hydrated!
Try and exercise every day
Even though you struggle just to get the bare minimum done every day, its crucial that you get some exercise on a daily basis.
Start small, by taking a walk and soaking in the rays every day - even if its a short one. This is a great habit to get into, and the results will compound themselves. You’ll almost always feel a bit more energized when you get moving!
Put an emphasis on getting better sleep
Getting enough sleep while pregnant can be the biggest factor in beating pregnancy fatigue. But, the irony is that your pregnancy is what actually hinders your sleep.
There are a few things you can do to improve your sleep while pregnant, such as establishing a habit, taking short naps throughout the day, limiting screen time before bed, etc. Our definitive guide on pregnancy and sleep has some awesome tips.
One of the easiest ways to improve your sleep is with our Organic Sleepy Body Lotion. This natural magnesium lotion calms your body and relaxes your mind, preparing you for a night of deep, restful sleep. It has helped thousands of mothers across the US get back to their level of sleep they enjoyed prior to pregnancy. In fact, its our best selling product at 8 Sheep Organics!
Don’t rely on caffeine
There’s a lot of talk around pregnancy and caffeine, and whether this is a risky compound for your baby. According to the experts, you should stick to just one cup of coffee per day to be safe. But, don’t use caffeine as a crutch - it is a very temporary fix, and will actually make matters worse once you crash!
Relax, decompress, and enjoy the process
The stress of pregnancy will undoubtedly weigh on your throughout this process. With the changes in your body, the oncoming pressure of motherhood, and realizing what a balancing act becoming a new mother is can keep you on edge. But, decompressing and relaxing will do wonders for your pregnancy fatigue. Meditate, do yoga, or whatever it takes to keep your mind at ease! You should also avoid taking on extra responsibilities while pregnant, as your main focus should be on YOU and your baby.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to beat pregnancy fatigue, you can get started making changes in your daily routine. It won’t be easy, but you knew pregnancy would be a challenge, and you are more than capable!