Feeling fatigued this pregnancy?

We love this clip! It reminds us of when we were pregnant and feeling so tired, we could hardly stand. Just as babies use all their available energy to develop into those toddlers we know and love, mums-to-be have their energy zapped right out of them as they grow their baby in their womb.

Courtesy of Giphy

It’s hardly surprising really.  From the moment of conception there’s an explosion of activity taking place throughout your body.  Just think about it – you’re amazingly building a new body, cell by cell, in only 280 days. No wonder so many pregnant women feel tired.

Hormonal changes in the first trimester can make you feel tired, nauseous and emotional.  These usually disappear in the second trimester and fatigue often returns for the final three months of your pregnancy.

Fatigue during pregnancy is nature’s way of slowing your down and a sensible signal from your body that you need to take it easy. So listen up, and get the rest you need.

You may be able to recapture some of that get-up-and-go with the following tips:

Keep active.Regular physical activity is your best weapon against fatigue. Enrol in a prenatal exercise class, try to walk more and many women swear by regular sessions in the pool.

Eat right.Make sure you include generous amounts of energy boosting carbohydrates, balanced with proteins and plenty of fruits and vegetables, in your daily diet.

Watch your sugar levels. Don’t skip meals and avoid too much sugar. Too much sugar can make your sugar levels crash a few hours later.  This can escalate your fatigue, as well as cause terrible headaches.

Eat iron-rich foods. Iron is a crucial mineral needed during pregnancy and, because you are supplying blood and oxygen to your baby, you need more iron than usual to keep up with the increase in blood supply.

Insufficient iron leads to anaemia, which will leave you feeling fatigued, light-headed and dizzy. Aim to have 27 milligrams (mg) of iron every day (and no more than 45 mg).  There’s no need to take iron supplements unless prescribed by your doctor, just make sure you eat plenty of leafy vegetables and meat if you’re not a vegetarian.  Your regular prenatal vitamin will provide iron too.

Practice relaxation. Yoga, meditation or just some time out in a quiet room all helps to relieve stress. Try lying down with your feet elevated above the level of your heart for about 15 minutes. This will improve the blood flow and make you feel energised.

Stretch that body. Take time out during your working day to stretch your upper and lower back.  It’s amazing how a few minutes of this will ease tension and leave you feeling more invigorated.

Take catnaps. Add an afternoon nap to your schedule; catnaps of 15 to 20 minutes can be rejuvenating.

Sleep well at bedtime. We know this is an obvious one, but making sure you get a good night's sleep will really help keep you energised during the day. Have a cup of rooibos or chamomile tea before bedtime. Or try putting a few drops of lavender oil on a tissue near your pillow to calm and soothe your nerves before sleep.

Remember, you’re not alone - feeling tired is a common symptom during pregnancy, but it won't harm you or your baby.  Just make sure you take time out for yourself – and get your family and friends to pamper you too!