You are coming to the most beautiful time of your life. As you know, pregnancy may be the most challenging and respectful time that every woman has to pass through. However, pregnant women have to battle with stress and discomfort including fatigue and sickness, painful leg cramps and breathing problems. You may feel sluggish and tired and your energy levels will be lower than normal. At times, the fatigue can be so overwhelming that you may be unable to be productive at work or keep up with your normal activities. These 6 helpful tips will give you a hand to reduce fatigue, thus improving comfort and happiness during your pregnancy.
TAKE YOUR PRENATAL VITAMINS
Pregnancy is always an important time in women’s life so you must get enough nutrients to keep yourself strong and healthy, as well as nourish your little baby. A nutrient-dense diet is the most important factor in your ability to get enough vitamins and minerals during pregnancy. However, even with the most solid diet, it can be difficult to consume enough of the necessary nutrients for pregnancy, especially with our modern food supply. Have a look at some necessary supplements that you should consider to add to your pregnancy
- Vitamin D3: There is a lot of emerging research that Vitamin D can help reduce the risk of many pregnancies related complications including gestational diabetes.
- Magnesium: Proper magnesium levels also help mom’s tissue growth and recovery during pregnancy and may help baby receive more nutrition through the placenta.
- Folic acid: It is important for pregnancy, as it can help to prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, including spina bifida.
- Iron: If you are short of iron, you’ll probably get very tired and may suffer from anaemia. If the iron level in your blood becomes low, your GP or midwife will advise you to take iron supplements.
- Calcium: It is also important for a pregnant woman. It can help prevent her from losing her own bone density as the baby uses calcium for its own bone growth.
INCREASE YOUR WATER INTAKE
During pregnancy, you need to increase your intake of water substantially to combat dehydration and fatigue. Dehydration during pregnancy can lead to many complications such as headaches, nausea, cramps, and dizziness. This is especially important in the third trimester when dehydration can actually cause contractions that can trigger preterm labor. You should aim for eight to ten glasses of water a day if you live in a temperate area. In hot, humid areas, you will need even more. Try sipping water throughout the day rather than drinking a lot at once. If you have trouble in consuming all that water, you can mix fresh fruit to your water or drink non-caffeinated tea. You can also eat juicy fruits and vegetables like watermelon, lettuce, or tomatoes.
GET MORE REST
If you are struggling with fatigue, try to take smaller naps throughout the day. Even a power nap for an hour in the afternoon can help you have more energy and less tiredness. If you are at work and you can’t accommodate a nap during the day, try to get extra sleep at night. A recent study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that sleeping less than six hours (or more than 10 hours) each night in early pregnancy ups risk of elevated blood pressure in the third trimester. For some women having troubles in sleeping on your side, doctors recommend that they should place a pillow or cushion between their knees to help ease any lower back and hip discomfort, thus creating a comfort zone for them to fall asleep.
SKIP SWEET STUFF
It is normal if you have a craving for sweets during pregnancy. Although eating sweet foods in moderation is fine, consuming too much can lead to unnecessary weight gain and interfere with your ability to eat a balanced diet. To be honest, sweets may give you an instant energy boost, but when your blood sugar drops, you will feel even more tired than before. If you still want to eat sweets, try foods that will satisfy your sweet tooth without the potential negative effects, for example, eating flavored frozen yogurt or frozen fruit pops. You can also top bananas or other kinds of fruit with peanut butter to add some protein to your snack.
EAT FOR ENERGY
A balanced diet is one of the most important things during your pregnancy. When you are pregnant, you tend to focus on how many extra calories you need to consume. When people say that a pregnant woman should eat for two, it does not mean she needs to consume twice as much food or double her calories. It’s better to focus on the quality of the food rather than the quantity. To maximize prenatal nutrition, you should emphasize on these food groups, including fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and dairy products. For instance, you can fill half your plates with fruits and vegetables, a quarter of it with whole grains and a quarter of it with a source of lean protein, and have a dairy product at every meal.
TAKE PRENATAL YOGA
Yoga is a combination of Asana, breathing and relaxation techniques to help you achieve balance, as well as control your anger, anxiety, and stress. Through the breathing technique in Yoga, the flow of blood comes to each single part of the body to provide more oxygen to your cells, and then boost the blood flow. If you have been practicing yoga for years, you can continue during your pregnancy. However, if you are planning to start yoga as a form of exercise during pregnancy, it is ideal to do so in the second trimester. Yoga can be performed once a week or every day. The duration can range from 5 to 60 minutes per session. Follow this exercise guideline before practicing Yoga:
- Always consult your doctor before embarking on any fitness programs during pregnancy.
- Find a qualified yoga instructor who is well qualified and experienced in teaching pregnant women.
- Listen to your body carefully. If you feel any discomfort, stop. You will probably need to modify each pose as your body changes.
- Avoid lying on your back after the first trimester; it can reduce blood circulation to the uterus.
- Avoid poses that stretch the muscles too much.
- From the second trimester, when your center of gravity starts to shift – do all standing poses with your heel against the wall or use a chair for support, to avoid losing your balance and risking injury to yourself or your baby.
- While twisting, move from the shoulders and back, rather than the waist, to avoid putting pressure on your abdomen. Twist only as far as it feels comfortable – deep twists are not advisable in pregnancy.