We’ve all heard about morning sickness, but there’s one early pregnancy symptom that may take you by surprise — and if you’re currently in your first trimester, you probably know we’re talking about the fatigue.
The upside? First-trimester fatigue is temporary…and it gives you a pretty great excuse to take that nap, give in to that Netflix binge, or order that pizza instead of cooking dinner. The downside? You probably can’t completely check out of real life and stay in bed all day (it’s tempting, we know!), and if you’re working through your pregnancy, that fatigue can make powering through the week a little harder.
But you’ve got this! Pregnant ladies can (and do!) continue to crush their day-to-day responsibilities. It may take a bit more effort and a few adjustments, but you can do it…and we hope these tips will help you until you reach the promised land (also known as the second trimester).
You may not have it in you to hit the gym after work (and that’s ok!), but squeezing in some physical activity is a great way to boost your energy through the day. If you’re struggling to stay awake at your desk, try taking a quick power walk. Give yourself ten minutes to stretch your legs, get some fresh air and clear your head — you’ll be amazed by how much more alert and awake you’ll feel.
Do some prep work on weekends
The last thing you want to do after a long workday is come home and fold laundry, make dinner, or tidy up your home. That’s why we suggest doing a few things to free up time during the week. Spend a few hours meal prepping on Sunday so you can easily throw dinner together after work. Get laundry out of the way so you don’t have to spend valuable time seeking out clean clothes every morning. That way, once you’ve made it through the workday, you can come home and get some much-needed rest.
Adjust your bedtime
Getting yourself to power down (or, you know…resist watching that one last episode) at night can be a challenge even when you’re exhausted. Most of us need some time to decompress before calling it a night, but if you consciously try to sleep just a half hour earlier every night, you just might find yourself feeling way less fatigued the next day.
Accept help when it’s offered
If your mom volunteers to stock your freezer with weekday meals, let her. If your partner offers to take over some of your chores through the early part of your pregnancy, accept. And if your co-worker sees you’re exhausted and suggests helping you out with your workload, take her up on it! As we mentioned, first trimester fatigue doesn’t last forever — soon enough you’ll be back to your normal speed and can reclaim your responsibilities. But for now, just give yourself permission to let others take some of them off your hands.
We know, we know: It’s tempting to reach for a big cup of coffee when you’re struggling to keep your eyes open at work. But next time you’re feeling that way, try sipping cold water — staying super hydrated is important through all stages of pregnancy, and it may even help you feel more energized! This is especially important since you may have cut down your caffeine intake through pregnancy (your doctor can help you figure out the exact cutoff point for daily consumption!) and might be struggling to maintain that energy burst you get shortly after downing your first cup of the day.
Graze throughout the day
A big meal can leave us feeling super lethargic, and while it’s fine to feel that way sometimes (post-Thanksgiving dinner, anyone?), now is not the best time for it. If you’re already getting tired at work, the last thing you want to do is add a food coma into the mix on top of your pregnancy fatigue. Instead of letting yourself get so hungry that you indulge in a big lunch, keep snacking through the day. Healthy options like fruit and nuts will keep your energy up, and things like pretzels and crackers are great if you’re dealing with any queasiness. And call us crazy, but the repetitive action of chewing on snacks through the day may even help you stay more alert — it sounds out there, but it totally works for some people!
Take a break
It may be worthwhile to take a day or two off from work during your first trimester — you can schedule a short getaway with your partner or a relaxing day close to home during that time by using some of your vacation days. Another option? If you wake up feeling like you just can’t manage to get through the day, feel free to call in sick. Ultimately, listening to your body is the most important part of this whole process…and if it’s telling you it needs some downtime, listen.