by Lempi Koivisto
"Listen to your body and nap when you're tired."
You've read that advice, you've heard it and if you weren't so tired, you'd rant about it!
If followed, many of us would be snuggling with our favorite blanket every waking hour of the first trimester. Don't worry though, this too shall pass!
Why Am I Exhausted?
During early pregnancy, your progesterone levels soar and energy levels plummet. Other body issues, feelings, and anxieties decide to jump onboard and zap the rest of your precious energy. Add in the nagging hormones and extra bathroom trips that interrupt your sleep and you've got one exhausted momma.
Meeting the Challenge
As a mom-to-be, you're probably tired. Ridiculously "sleep on a rock" tired. This list will help you take care of yourself, your growing baby, and your responsibilities in this exhausting first trimester.
Encourage your partner to pick up the slack. When you can't manage more than staggering across the room and collapsing on the couch, share the responsibility of meals, dishes, laundry, and household chores. Your partner's building this baby with you, so lean on him (or her) for support.
Downsize your list. Save "baby preparation" for later. There's no need to get a jump on planning your nursery "right this minute". There'll be plenty of time and more energy in your second trimester.
Do all you can to get a good night's sleep. Cut caffeine, limit liquids at night, step away from the TV and computer. Have your husband or partner entertain other children and head to bed as early as the neighborhood toddlers. An extra hour can make a world of difference!
Sneak a nap! Sleep while your tiny tots are at daycare or in preschool. Bosses will probably frown on you sporting keyboard imprints on your cheeks during the afternoon meeting. Try a power-nap during your lunch break in your car, break room, or even on the carpet at your desk. Think about bringing a spare pillow -- it's softer than the keyboard.
Eat smart and often! Maintaining a healthy diet will prevent sugar crashes and fatigue. Is meal preparation a challenge for you? If you have energy right this second, pop dinner into a crock pot. Can't face doing that activity? Text or contact your partner and request they take care of the dinner tonight. They might groan, but they'll have nine months to get used to it.
Just say no! We know you hear this advice all the time, but try it! Cut back on your extra commitments. Take a break from volunteering, social gatherings and other activities until you're past your extreme exhaustion.
Exercise Regularly. According to Alexandra Allred, a mom and Pregnancy.org's fitness expert, "Although exercising when you're dragging sounds silly, do it. You'll feel more energetic and moving helps ease morning sickness." That advice alone seems worth it!
Treat your body like a temple. Little things like a shoulder or foot massage, even a manicure/pedicure can renew your spirit and energy. Remind your partner and say, "Hey you know what would be really awesome right now....?"
While we're still trying to get a patent to sell those extra "zzz's" on the open market, we hope that these suggestions enable you to find a few more moments of rest out of each day. This phase, like the soon-to-be fleeting years of childhood, will pass and you'll get back to the normal chaos called "life."
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