During pregnancy, especially the first and third trimesters, you are probably feeling like all you energy is being sapped by that sweet little bundle growing in your belly. It’s hard to get going in the morning, it’s a chore to get all the day’s tasks checked off, and you tend to fall asleep during dinner, much to your husband’s amusement.
Is this lethargy just something you’ll have to learn to deal with, or are there ways to boost energy levels during pregnancy?
Well, it’s a little bit of both. Some advice for dealing with these new levels of exhaustion involve taking naps during the day (even a 10-minute cat nap may help keep you going) and letting certain things slide (like housecleaning). But if you are looking for other ways to boost your energy, here are some things to try. The following 10 tips are from ask baby:
- Drink a glass of cold water – Drinking plenty of cool water will help to rehydrate and energise you by maximising the circulation of blood and oxygen around your body, improving alertness and increasing your metabolism.
- Turn on the radio – Music can have an amazing effect on your mood, listening to your favourite tunes is a great destresser and will leave you feeling refreshed so if you’re in need of a pick me up simply turn on the radio.
- Focus on your breathing – Poor posture and shallow breathing will leave you feel tired and achy. Take a few moments to clear your mind, focus on sitting up straight and filling your lungs properly whenever you have an energy dip.
- Brush your teeth – The mere scent of mint can help to reduce fatigue so try brushing your teeth, sucking a mint, sniffing some essential oil or lathering up with mint shower gel when you need to feel more alert. Mint also has cooling properties so a peppermint body lotion or spray can be a really refreshing option too.
- Take a short walk – Although exercise is the last thing you might feel like doing when you’re tired, taking a short walk will help to circulate oxygen around your body, boost your metabolism and encourage the release of endorphins into your blood. Taking gentle exercise such as walking, swimming or yoga on a regular basis will actually fill you with more energy and help to prepare your body for labour.
- Breakfast like a king – One of the best ways to boost your energy levels is by starting the day with a hearty breakfast. Research has found that a breakfast combination of complex carbohydrates and protein will make your energy high last longer as sugar is released into your blood slowly and steadily throughout the morning. Try adding seeds to your cereal, fruit to your yogurt, egg on your toast or honey to your porridge for the best lasting boost.
- Go green fingered – Plants help to cleanse your environment by improving the quality of air you breath in; their mere presence has been shown to reduce headaches, minimise fatigue and increase alertness. Go for easy to maintain plants with dark green leaves for the best boost at home or in the office.
- Open the window – Being indoors with stuffy air and artificial light can contribute to a feeling of fatigue. Opening a window and taking some deep breaths of fresh air will help you to feel revived; better still take a few minutes to go outside and stretch your legs.
- Snack smart – It can be so tempting to reach for sweet treats when your feeling exhausted, and while they do give you an energy boost it will only be short lived. So, when you get the munchies its much better to go for some dried fruit, wholegrain toast or nuts as these will release sugar into your blood stream slowly and evenly and give you a much longer boost. Keep a packet of dried apricots in your bag as an emergency pick me up as these are packed with iron, fibre, vitamin c and many other pregnancy essentials.
- Take a power nap – If you’re struggling to sleep at night, try taking a short power nap during the afternoon (or when you get home from work). This will do wanders for your energy levels and help to make up for the zzzz’s you’re missing when the sun goes down.
Baby Zone adds the following pointers:
- Make TV Time Productive: Rather than sitting to watch your favorite TV show, use those 30 minutes for exercise. Pedal a stationary bike or take a walk on the treadmill. Low-impact exercise is best, but the overwhelming message is the same: exercise will “reenergize and increase your oxygen, blood, and nourishment to your body,” says Dr. Hall.
- Get a good night’s rest: The key to maintaining energy is getting enough sleep. “Proper rest,” according to Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of From Fatigued to Fantastic, “means getting at least eight to nine hours of good sleep every night.” Nowadays, this may seem like a lot, considering the majority of the country is running on empty. “A hundred years ago, the average American slept nine hours at night, which has now been whittled down to six hours,” says Dr. Teitelbaum.
- Energy from food: You’ll benefit most from foods that provide plenty of nutrients and energy-boosting substances. Broccoli is a great source of beta carotene with vitamin C to keep you energized, reports Dr. Hall. Likewise, blueberries contain protective antioxidants and stimulate the brain. You can boost your body’s healing capabilities by eating foods containing vitamin B6 which helps the body produce serotonin, creating a calming effect. Dr. Hall suggests eating chicken, sweet potatoes, and bananas for a B6 boost.
- Drink plenty of water: “As a society, we walk around chronically dehydrated,” says Dr. Teitelbaum. Pregnant women, especially, should drink the recommended eight, eight-ounce glasses of water a day to keep healthy and maintain stamina. (Stay away from caffeinated drinks which do little to help hydrate a body. Plus, the effects of caffeine on a fetus are still unclear.)
SNACK IDEAS FOR SUTAINED ENERGY
Women24 maintains that the key to having more energy, as well as less nausea, minimal weight gain, and a healthy baby, is to control blood sugar. Healthy snacking throughout the day can help maintain your blood sugar and energy levels:
image from fitness and pregnancy