5 Natural Ways to Boost Your Energy During Pregnancy
I almost titled this post, “Surviving First Trimester Fatigue” - because that is what it feels like to me - just surviving.
Last week, Megan shared her first trimester story - it pulls at the heartstrings and is a must read for any soon-to-be mama. Although every woman’s experience is unique, and I know a few lucky mamas who sailed through their first tri, I personally nodded ‘yeah, me too’ to everything Megan wrote.
The hardest part for me, hands down, is the fatigue.
As someone who loves to get up at the crack of dawn to take the day by storm, feeling tired makes me unrecognizable to myself. All the things I love, the things that normally put a skip in my step, all feel harder.
Going through it for my second time has its hardships, and its benefits.
This is not my first rodeo. I have a 15 month old to prove it.
One of the struggles is not having as much energy as I would like for play-time. Like many women, I unconsciously set a superwoman-high bar for myself as a mother, which sets me up for guilt + shame when I come from work with only enough energy left to flop on the couch, rather than make an amazing meal or build forts with the pillows.
The flip side, is that I have the wisdom of perspective.
I can look back at my first pregnancy and recognize how fleeting these struggles really are. I can also look at my sweet baby boy and my heart floods so fast with love and gratitude - I know I would do this all over again 10-fold for the joy of getting to be his mom. I’m riding on trust that I’ll feel the same way when #2 comes along!
Now that I’ve set the stage of my battles with fatigue, I want to share some of the strategies that I found most helpful for picking up my mood and energy levels while pregnant.
Hope these help you, too!
5 Tips to increase your energy Throughout Pregnancy
1.Turn up your thinking.
This wouldn’t be an Alavita post if we didn’t start with mindset :) Don’t dismiss the power of your thoughts!
As anticlimactic as it sounds, the best advice I have to fight fatigue is to stop fighting it.
I know from too much trial and error that the more I struggle with feeling tired - the more I complain about it and tell myself “I wish I had energy for fill in the blank…” - the more I resent it and the worse I feel.
I find it’s much more helpful for enjoying my day (and my pregnancy) to embrace slowing down. Granting myself the grace and permission to go slow does not come naturally. I practice by paying attention to my critical self-talk and replacing those thoughts it with one that picks me up. I try to start each day by setting a mantra, or intention. Something like:
“My body deserves to rest while growing another human”
“My worth is measured by more than accomplishing my to do list”
“Joy in my life comes from loving family & friends, not from productivity”.
“How incredible am I that I can grow another human?!”
Find an uplifting phrase that resonates with you and repeat it to yourself continuously until eventually, it flows effortlessly.
Another shocker, but so many of us fight the need to sleep, it’s worth the PSA: the more you allow yourself to rest, the more energized you’ll feel. You may need more hours of Zzzzs at night than “normal” - you may also need naps. This is pregnancy, its not your “normal”, so give in.
You can also rest and rejuvenate by taking baths, not pushing yourself to your max at every workout and choosing to leave work with your inbox still full. Now is a time to focus on your well-being -
The most important things will get done and the less important things can wait.
Did you know that, pregnant or not, just a 2% decrease in hydration levels can make you feel fatigued? Now, especially, with all that extra blood flowing through your body, your fluid needs are soaring. Get yourself a large water bottle and keep it close. If you’re a La Croix addict like me, sparkling water is good too :)
Never in my life has it been so hard to motivate to exercise as during my first trimester. My bed is so much more inviting. But, I can’t deny how much better I feel after making myself do it. Even with nausea, bloating, heartburn, etc. moving my body is a guaranteed pick-me-up.
Exercise does not have to mean running 10 miles or crushing Crossfit. It does mean moving fast and hard enough to pick up your heartbeat up, break a sweat and get those endorphins flowing.
Obviously food is on this list ;) Food is literally energy. Nauseas or not, fatigue is going to get the better of you if you don’t eat.
And what you eat matters.
Your blood sugar is naturally lower in pregnancy, which means you need to be more conscientious about pairing carbs with protein + fat to steady your blood sugar and energy levels.
We give you all the details about how to do this in our Pregnancy Program.
BONUS TIP: To Caffeinate or Not?
Remember when you were tired and you could just drink a cup of coffee and the world’s problems would disappear?!? (I’m a bit of coffee addict ;) As you’re probably well aware, its not so simple while expecting. The science around caffeine consumption is mixed and recommendations are controversial.
Don’t forget, you were made for this!
PS Is nausea keeping you down? Check out these remedies.