Fatigue is normal, but keep it to a minimal [video transcript]
I want to talk about something that's super common in pregnancy, which is fatigue. It's often quite unavoidable because you are growing a human being, so your energy levels are going to be very different from someone who's not pregnant, so don't be discouraged. But there are some symptoms that I think we can certainly prevent, and I wanted to talk about it because it's quite doable to make sure that you feel as energised and as healthy and strong as you can in pregnancy, and it essentially also goes for the postpartum, because everything we do in pregnancy is going to be translated to the postpartum. The stronger, the healthier, the more nourished you are during your pregnancy, that's going to carry forward into the postpartum period.
What can we do to prevent fatigue in pregnancy?
One of the things I've talked about before is blood testing and making sure you're not getting deficient in something like iron for example. Getting iron deficient or anaemic is certainly going to make you feel exhausted. It's going to make you feel lethargic and even depressed simply because you're not getting enough oxygen to the brain. No one will function well let alone someone who is growing a foetus in their womb. So if you're pregnant, you simply cannot allow yourself to get to that stage. So that's obviously a really important one and something that's easily prevented.
Understanding how to eat right in pregnancy
The other aspects that I think sometimes is not considered enough is that we need to be quite diligent about our diet. It's not an excuse that you're too tired, because you can't really fix the problem if you're just not eating well because you're too tired and it's "too much work". It is your duty to look after yourself as a woman who is nourishing a baby in your womb, and also as a woman that's about to become a mother. It is your duty to make sure that you are the strongest and healthiest that you possibly can be. It is such a difference if you're fully nourished, meaning that your diet, the food that you're eating every single day, should be feeding you towards that. It should be nourishing you on a cellular level and should be giving you and your baby the energy and nutrients that you require. So when women say that they feel exhausted and they can't be bothered about their diet, and it's too hard, I simply want to say that it's too hard to not eat well. What does that mean? It means that you need to have three really substantial meals throughout the day. You need to have plenty of vegetables, mixed vegetables throughout the day. You need to have protein, and you need to have good and healthy fats. You also need to consider snacks. If three meals a day is not enough for you, the having some protein-rich snacks in between your meals is going to give you sustained and strong energy, so you're not going to have these fluctuations in your energy levels. This is really important because fluctuating inner energy levels is going to affect both you and your baby. If you're suddenly having a dip in your energy levels, you're going to reach for sugary, carbohydrate-rich foods that are going to spike your blood sugar levels, and that's going to have an effect on your baby as well. They get the equivalent of what you're experiencing, so I think sometimes that can be enough of a driver. If you know that your baby is thriving better if you're really conscious and diligent with your diet, then that's often enough for you to get into gear.
Staying physically active is essential!
The other aspect that's important is to stay active. You're growing a baby, your blood volume triples, so that means it's much harder for your body to pump the blood and the lymphatic system around in your body. It takes a lot more work than when you're not pregnant, so staying active becomes even more important, and sometimes it can be hard to do this because in the first trimester you might be feeling really nauseous and tired, and that's a good idea to rest, rest, rest and not get super active. But then when the second-trimester hits and especially in the third trimester, it's super important to stay active, otherwise you're going to feel heavy, you could potentially gain more weight than you have to, and it all has a bit of a knock on effect throughout that.
Keep it simple but be consistent
Make a deal with yourself to look after your diet and stay active every single day, you don't have to be running. You can most certainly just be walking, you can be swimming, you can be stretching, maybe yoga or Pilates, things that keeps you active, keeps your blood and your lymphatic system flowing so that you don't get to that point of feeling just yuck and big and uncomfortable, because pregnancy, I believe, is when women look the most beautiful, and they can feel and glow with this amazing internal strength, but you have to tap into it with your diet and your lifestyle. I think it's non-negotiable, because the opposite is to not do any of those things, and you're going to feel tired, and you're going to feel run down, and you're more prone to have depression type symptoms, and it's much harder to go through birth and labour and then to also recover in the post-partum.
Making healthy lifestyle changes now will have life long benefits
You owe it to yourself and your baby to stay active and to eat well. It's the foundation, and if you do it, then chances are you're going to send the right messages to your baby, and as your children or your child grows up, you're going to be showing them these really healthy habits that are going to help them in their life, so it's a beautiful ripple effect that you can start right now, and I guarantee you it's going to make you feel better. I hope this has inspired you to go for a walk and eat really well, and if you need more help, then get in touch with me. You can head over to my website, which is annamaria.com.au, and I'm more than happy to assist you and help you feel strong and healthy throughout pregnancy and in motherhood. Read my more detailed blogpost about pregnancy fatigue here.
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My Top 10 Foods for a Happier Healthier Mum
As a fellow mum (of three wonderful girls) I really know how challenging and exhausting being a mum can be at times!
When I first became a mum I realised just how much my lifestyle and diet played a part in how well I coped with the demanding tasks of caring for my little ones.
I help so many women through all kinds of burnout, exhaustion, weight gain, digestive and hormone problems, illness and general low's.... and I never get tired of seeing just how well they respond to my graspable and nurturing support. It really makes my job such a blessing, to be able to help you.
Alright, let's get to it! Here are my top 10 tips to become a happier and healthier mum!