The Best Ways to Fight Pregnancy Fatigue

My first thought on how to fight pregnancy fatigue is “Don’t.” Although I can recognize that the ability to lean into the pregnancy fatigue and rest as much as possible is somewhat of a fantasy and a privilege, I do believe that there is something to a pregnant person resting whenever they possibly can. If you can take a daily nap, this is a great way to flow with the pregnancy fatigue rather than fight it. There is power in listening to your body and honoring rest during pregnancy. But, if you are like the rest of us and work a full-time job, care for busy older kids, or both, here are seven tips for fighting pregnancy fatigue.

  1. Eat regular snacks and meals. Blood sugar levels need more stability during pregnancy, and eating every few hours is a great help. Also, fatigue sneaks in when blood sugar levels drop, which can be a great way to solve the problem.
  2. Stay on top of your protein and iron intake. Being deficient in either of these nutrients can add to fatigue and make it impossible to do anything other than sleep. Protein is one of the critical builders for developing a fetus, and if someone is anemic or low on iron, exhaustion is one of the main side effects.
  3. Hydrate. Drinking an adequate amount of water can be highly impactful for various things during pregnancy, and fatigue is one of them. 80-90oz of water daily is a great place to start.
  4. Avoid the quick fix! Whether it be sugary foods or caffeine, neither of these are great options for fixing your fatigue issue. So, limiting caffeine consumption to no more than 300mg daily, or about two 8oz cups of coffee daily, is recommended. Caffeine is sneaky, though. Remember, it is found in coffee, other beverages, and chocolate.
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  5. Exercise. Consult with your care provider first, but exercise can be a great way to aid in a more restful night’s sleep. Exercise does not need anything more than some light yoga or a walk. Even these activities can provide what the body needs to sleep better.
  6. Say “no.” The people pleaser in each of us just cringed at that sentence, but the truth is, taking more off your plate is a great way to lessen the exhaustion that can come with pregnancy. Not only will this help with rest during pregnancy, but learning to speak your truth and say “no” to the things that don’t serve you is another excellent way to prepare for childbirth.
  7. Lastly, ask for help. If you are lucky enough to be surrounded by support, lean on them. Ask for what you need and graciously accept the assistance offered by those who care about you. A big piece of asking for help is trusting the other person to be adult enough to say “no” if they cannot. Asking for help could be like having your neighbor take the kids for a playdate, letting your sister tidy your home, allowing your community to put together freezer meals for your postpartum, and more. We were never meant to do pregnancy and parenthood alone. There is power in the community and village.

You may still be exhausted even after trying each of these tips, but the hope is that one of these will click and lessen the fatigue you are feeling during this pregnancy. I find it powerful when I look at all of the ways pregnancy can prepare us for childbirth and postpartum, and I believe that the rest pregnancy asks you to give is one of those ways. 

The fatigue of pregnancy mirrors the exhaustion of postpartum. It shows us where we will need to step back, ask for help, and honor our needs while healing and possibly caring for a new baby. Allowing pregnancy to be the teacher is a beautiful way to prepare for those fresh postpartum days. 

 

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