Fatigue, lethargy, exhaustion need not take over your pregnancy. While nearly every pregnant woman experiences a dip in her energy levels during the nine months, there are ways to keep the energy levels up and going.
Energy Capsule #1 – Exercise
You don’t need to rush to the gym as you read this! Most doctors would encourage you to engage in simple physical activities during this time. A walk around the block or light yoga stretches. Even swaying to a Bollywood song would work! Listen to your body, choose low impact exercises that improve blood circulation and feel rejuvenated. Needless to say, this would hardly be the time to enter a weight loss program.
Energy Capsule #2 – Eat Healthy
A healthy diet will boost your energy and keep you going through the day. Have a good mix of whole grains and cereals, legumes, dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables. Stay away from high calorie nutritionally unhealthy foods like sodas like soft drinks that are also loaded with sugar. Avoid highly spicy and fried foods as they tend to cause heartburn or worsen it. Highly salted snacks and foods high in sodium tend to make you hold water in that not only causes discomfort in movements but is not good for the heart and blood flow. Eating such salty foods may impress your taste but can increase blood pressure and cause harm to you and the baby.
Pregnancy time is a time when there are many hormonal changes that may cause your abdominal muscles to be lax leading to gas and indigestion. By eating gas producing foods will only worsens the situation. Foods like beans, high fibre foods and dairy can cause gas. Avoid these foods. Women who have lactose intolerance should limit their dairy food consumption.
Many pregnant women swear by six small meals instead of three large meals. This firstly, ensures the stomach isn’t empty, therefore reduces nausea during the early stages of pregnancy, and secondly, minimizes the discomfort of having a full stomach during the later stages of pregnancy. Also, be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
An important rule to remember is to avoid foods that are raw, unpasteurized, contaminated or undercooked. They may contain high microbial load due to lack of heat processing, which generally that helps kill microorganisms. Sea food like clams and some types of fish may have mercury contamination. It is best to avoid sea food during pregnancy.
Energy Capsule #3 – Sleep
Unfortunately, we belong to a chronically sleep deprived generation. Try to pack in as much sleep and rest as possible during this time as less sleep can be expected once the baby is born due to adjustments needed to match the baby’s sleep patterns. Resting, often ‘cat naps’ help relax and rejuvenate mothers.
Energy Capsule #4 – Supplement Your Diet
Most doctors recommend a dietary supplement to be taken along with vitamin supplements. A dietary supplement helps bridge nutritional gaps and ensures optimum nutrition. They contain many vitamins and minerals. Their folic acid, iron, iodine, Vitamin D and calcium are especially important.
However, remember a dietary supplement is not a substitute for food. It needs to go hand-in-hand with a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Energy Capsule #5 – Stay Calm
This may seem easier said than done. But you need to make a conscious effort to stay positive and happy. Don’t fret the small stuff! Try meditation, go for walks, make time for yourself, and for your partner/ family, engage in a hobby, watch funny movies, listen to soothing music and every now and then laugh out loud!