Your body is going through many changes on a daily basis – and we don’t just mean your shape. You will probably experience a lot of fatigue during the first and third trimesters, which is normal. But just because tiredness is a normal part of pregnancy, it doesn’t mean that you should be exhausted all the time. There are things you can do to improve pregnancy fatigue.
Author of South African Guidelines for Exercising in Pregnancy Dr Etti Barsky says research has shown that staying active during your pregnancy and exercising helps your body to adapt to the changes it undergoes during pregnancy better and faster. Exercising leaves you feeling more energised during the day and helps improve the quality of your sleep. Also, when you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which will also help improve your mood.
What type of exercise should you do?
Dr Barsky says your training programme should consist of both cardio and strength-training exercises, which will help you to keep some control over your weight gain and help you to lose weight faster after you’ve had your baby. Exercising will also lead to less aches and pains during your pregnancy, especially in your lower back. “Your body will be fitter, leaner and stronger and will cope better with the physical demands of labour if you follow a regular exercise programme,” says Dr Barsky.
More tips to beat pregnancy fatigue
- Too much rest and not enough exercise can actually heighten your fatigue.
- Instead of doing housework, go for a walk. Increasing blood flow to your muscles will boost your energy.
- Follow a nutritious and well balanced diet.
- Take your vitamins. Your growing baby takes loads of nutrients and vitamins from you so be sure to supplement daily.
- Keep fresh fruits and vegetables on hand and nearby for quick, healthy snacks to boost your energy levels.
- Cut back on nonessential activities.
- Ask your partner and family to help out with household chores.
How to beat pregnancy fatigue at work
- Wear comfortable clothes to prevent overheating and opt for low heels or flat shoes.
- Sit near an open window to get fresh air, or spritz some zingy citrus room spray for an instant pick-me up.
- Go outside to eat your lunch, relax and get some sunshine.
- Choose water and herbal teas over caffeinated or sugary drinks.
Go to www.preggibellies.co.za to find out more about pregnancy exercises.
Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals.