It’s definitely no secret that both pregnancy and caring for an infant can take a lot out of you. As a mom of two other children, gone are the days where I could sleep in and lounge around if I was feeling particularly tired. If you work full time or have other children, it’s not likely that you can do that either.
When I found out I was pregnant, I had to give up my morning quadruple shot of espresso and figure out something else to keep me going. While coffee is allowed in moderation when pregnant or nursing, moderation isn’t something I’m good at. Here are a few non-coffee solutions to battling pregancy or new mom exhaustion.
1. Eat your energy. Eat high-energy foods in small amounts throughout the day. Things like nuts – except peanuts – seeds, leafy greens, berries, lean meats, and even a little dark chocolate. Eating less more often will help keep your metabolism up, which will keep your body and mind more awake.
2. Drink water. Dehydration can cause a major drop in energy, so be sure to drink more than enough water. It can be hard to make yourself drink it plain, so you can add lemon – the extra Vitamin C is great for energy as well – or drink coconut water which has more flavor and also the added boosts of potassium and electrolytes.
3. Exercise. No, I’m not talking about hitting the stairmaster or doing situps. Not at this stage! If you’re feeling a little drained, try to go for a quick walk outside if it’s nice, or take a couple trips up and down the stairs in the cold A/C. Just a little something to get the blood flowing to your brain.
4. Green tea. A serving of green tea has a quarter of the amount of caffeine as a serving of coffee, so it’s a better alternative if you just need a little boost. It’s also loaded with antioxidants which will help energy levels as well. Just make sure you don’t overdo it, of course.
5. Try some superfoods. Maca root, cacao powder, and chia seeds are all great powerhouses of energy. Adding them to a smoothie is a great way to get them in without even really thinking about it. You should be able to find all three at your local health food store.
6. Watch your evening intake. If you want to be asleep by a certain time, make sure you’re not eating or drinking anything that’s going to keep you up for a few extra hours. Avoid foods and beverages that are high in sugar or caffeine. Better yet, have something that has tryptophan in it, such as a small bowl of cottage cheese topped with sunflower seeds.
7. Sleep. This is a given, but when you’re pregnant or a new mom, you need all the sleep you can possibly get. Most nights usually aren’t very restful, whether it’s getting out of bed to use the restroom or to aid a crying infant.
It can be pretty easy to put yourself on the back burner with all that’s going on, but if you follow these tips you’ll be able to at least keep yourself from being too exhausted to function.
Have you suffered from pregnancy or new mom exhaustion? How did you fight it?
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