Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms experienced through the first trimester of pregnancy. As if nausea wasn’t enough, fatigue can be extremely debilitating, leaving you feeling exhausted -- both mentally and physically -- for weeks on end. However, there are a few lifestyle adjustments you can make in an attempt to combat fatigue and find solace in temporarily slowing down.
- Head to bed earlier. First and foremost, it is crucial to listen to your body and realize that no two women will feel exactly the same during pregnancy. Throughout both pregnancies, I found great relief in heading to bed extra early. I definitely missed out on some quality time with my husband and dinners with friends, but there are few opportunities to sneak in extra sleep. Heading to bed earlier has been especially important amid my second pregnancy, as my toddler-aged daughter has consistently missed the memo about sleeping in on the weekends.
- Hit the gym. If nausea hasn’t left you completely out of commission, hitting the gym is another great way to battle first trimester fatigue. The feel-good endorphins released when exercising can help increase energy and take your mind off the exhaustion. Attending a prenatal yoga class or enjoying a low intensity walk outside will provide a nice boost as well, just be sure to always listen to your body when engaging in any form of exercise.
- Learn to say no. One of the most effective ways to combat pregnancy fatigue is to remove any unnecessary tasks from your plate – learning to say no might not be easy, but it’s great practice for when the baby comes. Household chores are usually the first to go on my to-do list during the first trimester and I can't say I missed them one bit!
- Lean on family and friends. The icky feelings of the first trimester can be downright dismal; there are no two ways about it. Therefore, don’t hesitate to scream “YES!” to offers of help from family and friends -- whether it’s by accepting a home cooked meal, allowing someone to run a few errands on your behalf or simply enjoying a supportive chat on the phone. Now is the time to take the help.
- You deserve a break every now and then. The most important lesson I learned throughout my two pregnancies is to be kind and patient with myself. Whether you’re fighting fatigue, nausea , backaches, or any of the additional pregnancy symptoms, give yourself a well-deserved break. The dishes and laundry can wait; focus on nourishing yourself while you prepare to welcome a new baby into the world. There is a reason your body is asking you to slow down, just listen.