Pregnancy is associated with a host of changes in the metabolic functioning of the body. This can have impact on the overall physical and mental health of the expecting mother. While, experiencing chronic fatigue during pregnancy is fairly common, persistent low levels of energy can be harmful for the mother and the child.
In most expecting mothers, especially first timers, the body undergoes significant alternations in terms of its metabolic processes and energy needs. Physiologically, the growing fetus gets priority over the mother. This means that the body directs supply of essential nutrients, fluids and energy to the placenta first. Once the needs of the fetus are addressed to, the mother receives the remainder of the nutrients and energy. This physiological mechanism is meant to protect the growing fetus, irrespective of the mother’s food intake.
Inadequate consumption of food and fluids during pregnancy can therefore impact the mother’s energy levels. Unless severely malnourished, the growth of the fetus remains unhampered, but the mother may feel low energy.
How To Increase Energy Levels During Pregnancy?
Here are some simple tips on how to maintain energy levels, especially during pregnancy,
- Exercise: Simple exercises help maintain the lungs, muscles and the heart healthy.
- Sleep: Getting adequate sleep is also important to allow the body and its muscles to rejuvenate and re-energize. Typically an expectant mother should sleep for about 8 to 10 hours in a day, slightly more than an average adult. Getting enough sleep may be difficult during pregnancy and hence here are some simple tips,
- Sleep to your side. This helps allay symptoms like heart burn, breathlessness, etc.
- Avoid sleeping pills. Instead opt for natural herbs like St John Wort or Dandilion roots.
- Ensure that you go to the bathroom just before going off to bed. This may reduce the chance of you having to get up at night to urinate.
- Take frequent and short naps during the day. This can also add up to the 8 hours of sleep.
- Avoid coffee, tea or aerated drinks. Avoid chocolates with cocoa. These foods lead to wakefulness and may interfere with sleep patterns. Also these foods increase the risk of heartburn and indigestion.
- Increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. Consume dairy products, especially low fat milk and yoghurt to boost digestion. These foods provide your body with the essential minerals and vitamins.
- Opt for fresh fruit drinks rather than canned drinks. Avoid processed foods. Avoid salt or products containing preservatives.
- Yoga and meditation not only helps reduce stress, but also allows you to connect with the growing fetus. Meditate for about 15 to 20 minutes each day. This will boost energy, clear tension and improve your fetus’s health.
- Drink at least three liters of water each day. Water helps flush out toxins from the body. It also helps improve the supply of nutrients and vitamins to the fetus.
- Practice your hobby: Doing things that make you happy will only boost your energy levels and fight lack of energy. Have hobbies that activate your body and mind like sewing or knitting, reading a book, cooking, etc. Avoid hobbies like watching movies or television, which don’t contribute to boosting mental or physical functions.