Energy levels can fluctuate in the first trimester, particularly in the beginning. However, there are many ways to boost your energy and feel more awake and energized! Maybe you’ve been feeling tired lately and want some tips on how to get energized.
Somewhere between morning sickness and elastic waistbands, Little Bo-Peep has lost your sheep (she probably sold them to Sleeping Beauty) and there are none left for you to count to sleep.
Beginning as early as conception and implantation, pregnancy hormones instantly affect your body, mood, metabolism, brain, physical appearance, and sleep pattern.
In the second trimester, which begins at week 13, many women get a fresh surge of energy. This is a great time to tackle those important before-baby-arrives chores, because as you enter the third trimester, which begins at week 28, that extreme exhaustion returns.
Simply put, you feel tired because you’re growing a baby.
In addition to hormonal changes, physical and emotional changes also lower your energy levels and make you feel fatigued.
Some of these changes include:
- increased levels of estrogen and progesterone (which, by the way, acts as a natural sedative)
- lower blood pressure and blood sugar
- increased blood flow
- disrupted sleep
- digestion issues
- morning sickness
- stress and anxiety
- frequent urination
- back, hip, and pelvic pain
When to contact your doctor or midwife
If insomnia, restless legs syndrome (the uncontrollable urge to move your legs while resting), sleep apnea (a potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts), preeclampsia, or any other condition is hindering your sleep, talk to your doctor or midwife during your next appointment.
Other reasons to contact your doctor or midwife include, if you:
- feel concerned that the pregnancy fatigue is a sign of something more, like anemia, gestational diabetes, or depression
- develop any changes in your vision
- experience dizziness
- urinate less frequently
- have shortness of breath, pain in your upper abdomen, or heart palpitations
- experience severe headaches
- notice a swelling of your hands, ankles, and feet
Your healthcare practitioner can help you uncover any problems and offer additional solutions.
Growing a baby obviously takes a toll on your body. Don’t ignore the signals your body is sending you. Reach out to others if you’re struggling to sleep throughout your pregnancy. Ask for help from your partner.
No matter how tired you get, you should avoid taking any over-the-counter medicines as a sleeping aid.
Most pregnant women should spend at least 8 hours in bed, aiming for at least 7 hours of sleep every night. If possible, try going to sleep a little earlier than usual.
As your body changes, make sleep a priority and follow these tips to combat pregnancy fatigue:
Keep your bedroom dark, clean, and cold
Create the right atmosphere for optimal rest.
In order for your body to reach deep sleep, cover any windows with blackout curtains. Turn off any digital clocks and unplug nightlights illuminating a glow (cover the display with electrical tape if you don’t want to completely turn the device off).
Set the bedroom temperature a little cooler than the rest of your home, for optimal quality of sleep. Eliminate any needless clutter and wash your bedsheets often. Save your bed for sleep, cuddling, and sex.
Take a nap
Napping can make up for any sleep lost at night, due to frequent trips to the bathroom, body aches, and every other pregnancy irritation. Avoid napping in the late afternoon and early evenings.
If your employer frowns upon nap time, find a good spot in the breakroom and put your feet up while you eat lunch.
Eat healthy meals and stay hydrated
In the beginning, pregnancy can also lower your blood pressure and blood sugar, which can make you feel tired. But a lack of sleep can cause your blood sugar levels to rise, increasing the risk for gestational diabetes.
Keep your blood sugar and energy levels balanced by eating often, such as six small meals a day. Frequent meals that are high in nutrients and protein help to combat fatigue.
To avoid nighttime leg cramps, stay hydrated by drinking enough water and fluids throughout the day.
Keep a pregnancy journal or dream diary
Keep a journal throughout your pregnancy. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, try writing in it.
Pregnant women experience more vivid dreams and better dream recall, due to hormonal shifts affecting sleep patterns, increased fatigue, and repeatedly waking in the middle of a sleep cycle.
Sleep diaries can also be enlightening, providing concrete data about your bedtime, how long it takes for you to fall asleep, nighttime awakenings, awake time, and sleep quality.
Avoid caffeine after lunchtime
As far as stimulants go, caffeine may keep you awake long into the night or cause you to wake more frequently. It can also keep your baby active, kicking and rolling around inside your belly as you try to sleep.
Experts recommend pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to two home-brewed cups of coffee, or less than 200 milligrams, per day.
Ask for help from family and friends. Take a warm bath. Ask your partner for a massage. Take a break.
Wear soft, non-restrictive clothing and sit in a cozy chair with a good book and read for a little bit. Light a lavender candle. Play soothing instrumental music. Have a cup of warm chamomile tea.
You get it.
The demands of pregnancy together with the weight gained puts an enormous amount of pressure on your body.
- reduced back pain
- eased constipation
- decreased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery
- healthier weight gain during pregnancy
- improved overall general fitness
- strengthened heart and blood vessels
- improved ability to lose the baby weight after your baby is born
It can take a few hours for your body to fully wind down after energetic workouts, so plan for any physical activity to take place earlier in the day. If the exercise is light, like yoga, it’s unlikely to interfere with your sleep.
Always check with your medical practitioner or midwife before beginning a new exercise program during pregnancy.Increase your energy during your first trimester. Here’s how:
methods out there that will help you (and it’s 100% okay to try out all of these at once!).
The first trimester is a difficult time for many women. You may be exhausted, nauseated and in some cases, experiencing severe morning sickness.You need to have enough energy to get you through the day, but it’s likely that you’re having trouble doing so. There are a number of things you can do to manage your energy levels and get back to being yourself again.
First trimester fatigue can be tough, so we’ve got some tips that can help. Eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising are all key to maintaining energy levels. But if you’re feeling tired at work or in other places, it’s okay to get a boost.
How To Increase Energy During 1st Trimester
Increase your energy during your first trimester. The 1st trimester is the most important part of pregnancy. The first three months are when your body undergoes major physical changes, and your baby’s body grows rapidly as well. It’s also a time when many moms-to-be find themselves feeling tired, nauseous and depressed – which only adds to the fatigue they may already be experiencing. In order to get through this stage as comfortably as possible, it’s important to make sure you have the right energy foods at each mealtime.
feeling tired and low on energy during your first trimester? Here are some easy ways to boost your energy throughout the day. You may be feeling more tired and drained than usual during your first trimester. To keep your energy high and your mood steady, try the following tips.
Check out some ways to increase your energy during the first trimester.
1) Help Your Body Cope with the Stress of Pregnancy: Take charge of your mood and your health by making simple changes to your diet, exercise routine, and environment.
2) Eat a Balanced Diet, Avoiding Unhealthy Fats and Calories: Nutrition is one of the keys to feeling great and being able to keep up with your normal activities during pregnancy.
3) Limit or Eliminate Alcohol , Caffeine and Smoking, Especially in the First Trimester: Avoiding these habits will help you avoid some of the common side effects of pregnancy such as nausea and constipation.
4) You Can’t Reverse Age, But There Are Things You Can Do to Just Feel Better: Simple things like getting enough sleep, relaxation exercises such as yoga or meditating can do wonders for energizing those pregnant women who are feeling tired after dealing with morning sickness
What causes 1st trimester exhaustion?
During the first trimester, your body is literally creating an additional life-support system, heavily-taxing your energy levels.
While the biggest building process involves making the placenta, the following life changes can also contribute to your exhaustion:
- Mood swings
- Frequent nightly bathroom visits (due to high progesterone levels and a growing uterus)
- Body aches making it hard to fall asleep
- Nausea and vomiting keep you up at night
Yes – the first trimester of pregnancy is often the most exhausting. However, there are some things you can do!
Apply these seven tips to effectively manage fatigue and combat first trimester of pregnancy exhaustion:
- Schedule more time to sleep
Simply giving yourself more time to sleep can help keep you energized throughout the day.
Listen to your body. Take a power nap if you need to, but try to limit the length to one hour, at most. Napping for too long may leave you feeling more sluggish.
Teresa Ann Hoffman, M.D. is an OB-GYN at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Teresa suggests napping between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to avoid having problems falling asleep at night.
Take advantage of your burst of energy and, if possible, take a power nap when you are feeling sluggish. It’s all about balance.
Not convinced? Check out WebMD’s article on the Secrets of Power Naps.
- Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of water should always be a priority. However, dehydration during early pregnancy will lead to increased fatigue. Avoid the heat if possible as this can increase the chances of becoming dehydrated.
According to The Institute of Medicine, a pregnant woman residing in a temperate climate should aim to consume about 100 ounces of water over the course of a day (approx. eight 12oz glasses).
Spread out your intake of water, making sure to not drink too much in the few hours before bed.
Trying to get it out of the way by drinking large amounts of water at one time will leave you feeling overly full. Instead, keep a water container with you and take sips throughout the day.
- Don’t resist help
Did someone offer their help but you declined? Why? Take advantage of this precious opportunity to squeeze in a nap while your significant other, family, or friends do housework, run errands, or whatever lifesaving task they have offered to take on for you.
You don’t have to be super woman.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may be shocked at how many people will jump up to help you when asked.
- Stay Active
Taking daily naps may seem far more appealing than exercise, but staying active will help you to feel better. The increased oxygen intake and circulation keep you from feeling fatigued.
However, avoid adding a late-night gym regiment to your to-do list. This can lead to insomnia. The earlier you can exercise during the day, the better.
If you were active prior to becoming pregnant, it’s okay to scale down your duration and intensity. Don’t worry about pushing yourself to the absolute limit. You want to end your activity feeling energized, not more exhausted.
If you weren’t as active as you’d have liked prior to pregnancy and don’t know where to start, check out these great pregnancy approved workouts!
- Eat right
Giving your body proper nutrition should always be a priority, but it is even that much more important when you are pregnant.
As long as you are a healthy weight during the first trimester there isn’t a need to change your calorie count. Instead, focus on rich foods that will provide high sources of energy, such as protein and complex carbohydrates.
Also, make sure you are taking a prenatal vitamin, while avoiding processed foods. Foods with little nutritional value can leave you feeling sluggish.
Eat often, 6 mini meals a day, to keep your energy levels high. Think of it like an opportunity to snack all day; win-win!
A study by Louisiana State University School of Medicine showed that female athletes with chronic energy deficit could cause musculoskeletal and reproductive dysfunction. So make sure that you ingest enough calories so that you’re not running on a deficit.
Many of us are used to reaching for coffee when needing an energy boost. However, first trimester exhaustion won’t necessarily be helped by a cup-of-joe. If you choose to consume caffeine during your pregnancy, but are having issues sleeping at night, limit your caffeine intake to the morning.
Sugar and caffeine may seem like a quick fix in terms of raising blood sugar levels, but could lead to a big energy crash later on.
We understand that for some, a morning cup of coffee is non-negotiable, so be aware of the effects it may have on your body as well as your developing baby.
If you are seriously addicted and need some options for healthy and safe alternatives, check out this article by Care2.
- Manage your stress
Sometimes, stress can be good.
Seriously. It helps to motivate and get us chasing dreams. It can even boost your immune system and sharpen your focus, but only to a point.
Too much of anything is never good. Significant stress can cause lasting damage on your body and increase your feelings of exhaustion.
The Journal of Midwifery published a study about pregnant women who were experiencing exhaustion. They concluded that fatigue and psychological variables (such as depression, anger, anxiety, and confusion) are connected.
Interestingly however, fatigue was not connected to environmental variables, such as number of hours at work or the number of children at home. The final data suggests that this particular exhaustion cannot be resolved with rest, but rather with relieving your stress levels.
Finding your go to stress-relieving activity is a lifesaver. This applies well beyond the duration of your pregnancy.
If you’re still searching for your activity, try any of the following:
- Progressive relaxation
- Take a Yoga class
- Breathe deeply, using your abdominal muscles
- Listen to music
- Make yourself a cup of tea
- Enjoy some light exercise
- Prayer or participation in a spiritual/religious community
- Get a massage
- Keep a journal
- Get lost in a good book
- Saltines are a pregnant girl’s best friend
As you may well know by now, morning sickness could be to blame if you’re experiencing first trimester exhaustion. All that time spent feeling nauseous and in front of the toilet can take a serious toll on your energy levels.
If you are suffering through morning sickness at all hours of the night, keep saltines on your nightstand. Saltines are a perfect snack to suppress midnight queasiness.
When you feel the nausea coming on, take a few nibbles of a saltine to try and calm your stomach, allowing you to hopefully get a solid night of sleep.
What Can Boost Energy During Pregnancy
This week, we’re talking about the best ways to nurture a new life and keep your own body healthy and strong. This is no easy task, especially during pregnancy. But with a little extra care and attention, you can boost energy during pregnancy. Distracted by fatigue? The right foods can help you feel energized, even when you’re pregnant. Be sure to include lots of whole grains and lean protein in your diet. Also consider taking a whole-food complex vitamin or supplement to ensure proper nutrition.
Read on to learn about seven foods that’ll help you win the fight against pregnancy fatigue.
Okay, this one isn’t a food, but if you’re wondering how to get energy while pregnant, making sure to hydrate is one of the best ways. Water is the main component of blood and helps carry key nutrients to your cells, and fatigue is one of the first signs your body is low on fluids. Very few women actually drink six to eight glasses of water per day, and when you’re pregnant you’re supposed to have even more, since your body is busy making baby’s amniotic fluid. (The water you drink helps constantly replenish the fluid supply.) Dehydration can also up your risk of urinary tract infections and preterm labor.
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Sick of plain water? Frances Largeman-Roth, a registered dietician and author of Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom’s Healthy Eating Guide, suggests drinking coconut water, or adding mint, lemon, lime or cucumber slices to your H2O for a subtle kick of flavor. However you like your water, the key is carrying an 8-ounce bottle with you all day and sipping from it often.
Snacking throughout the day can help keep your energy up—and nuts are a convenient (and healthy) option to carry with you. They offer protein and fiber to keep you fuller longer, plus healthy fats (including brain-boosting omega-3s) and magnesium (which you should be getting 350 milligrams of a day). Trying not to go too crazy with calories? Shell-on pistachios take longer to eat, giving your body more time to register that it’s full.
Yet another reason not to skip breakfast! Oats are loaded with iron and zinc, two elements known for kicking fatigue to the curb. Plus, “oatmeal is rich in B vitamins, which are great for energy,” says llyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, a certified dietician based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Not only do B vitamins support healthy cell function and help metabolize macronutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats, but they can also be great for people with anemia, as they help with blood regeneration. Oatmeal is also rich in soluble fiber—a slow-burning carbohydrate that’s great for sustained energy—and beta-glucan, a type of fiber that may help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, Largeman-Roth explains.
Most pregnant women are mildly anemic, especially during the final stages of pregnancy when the body is prepping for birth and producing a ton of extra blood. And—you guessed it—anemia makes you tired. Your lifesaver? Mangoes. “The natural fruit sugars in mangoes lift energy levels,” Largeman-Roth says. “Plus, fresh mango is an excellent source of folate, which can help prevent birth defects.” Mango also has vitamin C, which helps your body absorb the energy-boosting effects of iron-rich foods, like lean red meat and beans.
Spinach is an excellent example of an iron-rich food. Iron helps transport oxygen throughout your body, and a lack of iron can leave you feeling exhausted. One cup of boiled spinach offers 6.4 milligrams of iron. Keep a bag of it on hand for salads and sautés, and even sneak it into your Sunday lasagna. Note that while spinach is high in iron for a veggie, you need a whopping total of 27 milligrams of iron each day during pregnancy—so keep taking your prenatal vitamin too.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Here’s another food to help you reach your iron quota—one medium sweet potato offers 0.8 milligrams. Plus, the vitamin C and copper help your body absorb the iron. Bonus: Your body uses a sweet potato’s beta-carotene to make vitamin A, which helps baby’s eye, bone and skin development.
The phrase “an apple a day” was invented for a reason. Apples contain plenty of boron, another mineral that can help naturally boost energy, Schapiro says. Plus, they boast natural sugars like glucose and fructose, both simple carbs that can help offer a quick energy boost without blood sugar spikes. They’re also full of fiber (a little over 4 grams!), which can be effective when trying to regulate and control blood sugar. Yet another benefit to eating apples during pregnancy? According to a study that analyzed data from more than 1,200 pregnant women and their children after birth, apples may also be protective against the development of childhood asthma and allergies. Largeman-Roth recommends pairing an apple with two tablespoons of peanut or almond butter for a filling snack that has a balance of carbs, protein and healthy fat.
On the whole, foods rich in iron, protein and fiber are great ways to fuel the body and boost energy while pregnant. Along with the foods mentioned above, Zore suggests sneaking in eggs, salmon, beans, lentils, fresh fruits, vegetables, lean poultry, milk and cheese to help maintain your energy during pregnancy.
But remember, along with the types of food you’re eating, it’s also important for pregnant women to pay attention to how often they’re eating. Eating smaller meals more frequently to maintain a healthy diet in pregnancy is beneficial for a couple reasons, Zore explains. First, nausea and vomiting may prevent some women from eating larger meals. Second, in the third trimester, your expanding uterus will compress your stomach and digestive system, including your bowels, making it harder to consume larger meals, she says. Smaller, frequent meals are not only easier on your stomach, but they can also help reduce heartburn, nausea and other digestive issues while still maintaining your energy and blood sugar levels.
If you’re eating well and still feel super-sluggish, it could be due to an underlying problem. Take to your OB, who may want to test for anemia or check your thyroid.