During pregnancy, you may start to feel more tired than you’re used to — especially during the first trimester when baby is making major developments, and in the third trimester when you’re carrying extra weight and baby is sitting lower. Depending on the severity of pregnancy fatigue you’re experiencing, there are a number of natural ways to help combat tiredness and increase your energy to help you feel better!

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1. Drink more water! The good news is, you can help boost your energy and fight pregnancy fatigue! Start by increasing your water intake, since your body needs extra hydration during pregnancy and many people don’t drink enough water; remember if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!

2. Exercise more often. It may sound surprising, but including 30 minutes of exercise a day can actually help decrease fatigue as exercise will cause the body to release endorphins. Just getting your body moving will help you reap the benefits of exercise. Ten minutes of exercising, a few times a day can be more managable– especially if you have a busy schedule or too tired for a full workout. Along with additional water for pregnancy, you’ll also want to add a glass for every half hour you’re exercising. Another bonus for pregnancy exercise? If you’re struggling to fall asleep or finding your body restless at night, including exercise in your daily routine can help your body relax in the evenings, help you fall asleep faster, and even provide you with a more restful sleep. Try mixing up your routine with a few cardio sessions and a few circuits every week, changing things up keeps your body (and your mind!) challenged. Finish off your day with a few light stretches to rest your body and prepare for sleep.

3. Decrease the sugar. Your diet may also be to blame when if you’re experiencing some excess tiredness. Too many refined sugars and flours, combined with not enough fiber and iron can make your body feel sluggish. Refined sugars may give you a quick boost, but your body will crash fast and feel even more fatigued. Instead try including some citrus fruits for a snack.

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4. Eat more protein, fiber, and iron. These nutrients will help reduce fatigue symptoms by keeping your body (and belly) feeling full and energized. If you notice you’re fatigued at the same time each day, break up your meals into smaller portions more often. Try to include iron-rich foods; leafy greens, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and meats, in every meal– as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, since research shows that citrus can help the body absorb iron.

5. Nap. A fifteen minute power nap can be extremely refreshing and well deserved during pregnancy. Your body is working hard so your baby can grow and develop properly, and this can deplete your body of its energy. It’s also common to be uncomfortable during sleep, so the quality of your nightly zzz’s might not be cutting it. When you’re body is tired, you’re more at risk for catching colds, so be sure to take a few minutes at your desk after lunch, or a short nap after work to recharge.

When visiting your doctor, it is extremely important you mention the fatigue you’re experiencing– he or she will probably run some bloodwork to check your thyroid, as well as your iron, which is associated with anemia and quite common in pregnancy. Check that you’re cleared for exercise and discuss your fitness routine with your doctors to ensure all your activities are suitable for you and baby!

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