How to Fight Pregnancy Fatigue

By Susan Revermann
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Not only is your body pulling extra duty while growing that baby, the pregnancy hormones, emotional ups and downs, physical changes and numerous middle-of-the-night potty runs can do a number on your energy level. If you’re experiencing pregnancy fatigue, especially during your first and last trimesters, you’re going to have to learn to work with it if you want to make it through the day. Some pregnancy-safe, fatigue-fighting tactics can be implemented during this important time of your life.

Step 1

Stay active. You may not feel like you have the energy to exercise, but you will be surprised by the results if you can just get passed the initial hurdle and lack of motivation. Exercise will increase circulation, build endurance, increase energy, improve your mood and allow you to sleep better at night. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week, unless your doctor or midwife advises against it for health or safety reasons. Swimming, walking, prenatal yoga and lifting weights are generally safe activities during pregnancy. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program during pregnancy.

Step 2

Eat right. Get in your regular meals and have small snacks between meals. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but cut down on your liquid intake about 2 or 3 hours before bedtime. Your fatigue may be a result of anemia, so include foods rich in iron and protein, encourages Mayo Clinic. Low-fat meats, poultry, seafood, leafy greens and iron-fortified foods can help. Don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamins.

Step 3

Get your Zs. Go to bed early and shoot for at least 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye at night. Fit in any naps during the day, if you can. Lying on your left side is best for your circulation, and pillows can make sleep more comfortable.

Step 4

Do some stretches, prenatal yoga and deep breathing exercises. There’s a difference between being fatigued and relaxed. These activities will help relax and unwind you during pregnancy, and they will also reduce your chance of getting nighttime leg cramps.