It’s no surprise that fatigue is a common complaint in pregnant women. After all, you are growing another human being, and your body must expend extra energy – your heart rate is up, your metabolism increases, and you are using more nutrients and water, as your body is creating & nourishing that tiny person inside you – but there’s plenty of healthy ways you can boost your energy levels – naturally.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. When you are tempted to grab a bar of chocolate or latte for a quick energy boost, you are actually setting yourself up for failure – these foods will cause a short energy boost followed by a slump, as your blood sugar levels rise and fall quickly, leaving you even more tired than before. Instead, choose foods that will slowly release energy throughout the day to keep you going. Complex carbohydrates like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads, cereals and pasta, legumes like beans and peas, and baked potatoes will give you sustained energy throughout the day. Team these foods with some rich sources of protein like eggs, fish, poultry, tofu, dairy, nuts & seeds to keep you feeling full and satisfied, and less likely to crave that chocolate bar!
- Get plenty of sleep. It might seem like a no-brainer, but getting your full 8 hours of sleep while pregnant can be harder than it sounds. As your baby bump grows, it can be hard to get comfortable, and other common pregnancy symptoms like leg cramps, backache and reduced bladder capacity can lead to many a restless, sleepless night. Avoid caffeinated drinks like tea, coffee and fizzy drinks as much as possible, and don’t have then at all after 12pm. Take time to relax and unwind before you go to bed by taking a warm bath, drinking a hot drink like herbal tea, or reading a book. Keep your bedroom cool by opening a window and leaving the door ajar to allow fresh air to flow through the room. Avoid watching TV or using your laptop or smartphone in the hour before bedtime, as this can stimulate the brain, keeping you awake – the blue light from screens doesn’t help either. Switch all electronics off and dim the lights to create a relaxing, sleep-inducing environment
- Avoid stress as much as possible. When it’s not physical symptoms keeping you awake but fear, anxiety and stress, it can be even harder to get some quality sleep. It’s very common to feel anxious and fearful about pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood, and often it can help to talk about your feelings with others in the same boat – try joining a local antenatal or parenting class, or connect with friends or family members who have had children. Spending time in the company of other pregnant women and mothers and chatting about your experiences can help to alleviate your worries, and stop them from keeping you awake at night.
- Take some exercise. It might sound strange, but regular exercise can actually help to boost your energy levels. Try a low-impact workout like yoga, swimming, walking, or cycling to improve your general health and stamina, help reduce stress, and aid with sleep – make sure to start off gently, and slowly increase your activity levels over time. When exercising, stop if you feel yourself getting short of breath, feeling any pain, or overheating. Always be sure to discuss any new exercise or fitness regime with your doctor before starting.
- Get your vitamins. As well as eating healthy foods, you can get more essential nutrients by taking some natural supplements – you may already know that pregnant women should take a folic acid (vitamin B9) supplement for supporting healthy tissue growth and reducing the risk of birth defects, but taking a B complex supplement can help to naturally boost your energy levels. Vitamin B actually consists of 8 individual vitamins that all play vital roles in good health and wellbeing. Try eating more foods that are rich in folate, the naturally occurring form of folic acid, such as green leafy vegetables, brown rice and wholemeal bread. Vitamin B supplements are popularly taken to support healthy brain function, boost energy levels and combat feelings of stress. Our high strength B vitamin complex is carefully formulated to provide 100% of the recommended daily amounts of each B vitamin. As with all supplements, discuss with your doctor before taking them.
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