Tired of being tired? Wake up to these fatigue-fighting strategies.
Pregnancy is an incredible, wonderful, amazing, absolutely tiring time. Fatigue is one of the most common early symptoms, particularly in the 1st and 3rd trimesters.
While nothing can fully eliminate fatigue, fueling your body with nutrients can reduce that tired feeling and give you the daily energy you need. If you have concerns about ongoing fatigue, talk to your doctor to rule out anemia or other possible causes.
Why are you so tired?
Your body is working hard to support new life and adapt to the many physical changes that come with the development of a baby. Increased progesterone, lower blood sugar levels, and lower blood pressure — all common in early pregnancy — might sap your energy.
Keys to fighting fatigue during pregnancy
When fatigue strikes, try these tips to help reduce symptoms:
- Choose nutrient- and protein-rich foods, such as low-fat milk, yogurt, beans, chicken breast, or peanut butter.
- Skip the quick fix, like donuts, candy, or sugary drinks. They might be a temporary fix, but they’ll leave you more tired in the long run. Energy drinks should be thought of as dietary supplements and might not be safe for your baby. Check with your doctor.
- Eat every four hours, beginning with a balanced breakfast. Try to include at least one whole grain and a fruit or vegetable with each mini-meal or snack.
- Limit caffeine. While guidelines vary,* most professionals recommend no more than 300 mg of caffeine (or about two 8-ounce cups of coffee) a day while pregnant. Remember, tea and sodas count, too.
- Listen to your body, and get the rest you need. It sounds simple, but it can be easy to forget during this busy time.
- Exercise regularly (with your doctor’s guidance).
- Get as much of the iron, vitamins, and minerals you can from iron-rich and energy-dense foods. Take your prenatal supplements as directed by your doctor.
- Hydrate. Drink at least ten 8-ounce glasses of water or other fluids daily.
*The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests limiting caffeine to 200 mg a day, while the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) suggests limiting caffeine to 300 mg a day or less. Follow your healthcare professional’s recommendations.