Tiredness in pregnancy

Tiredness during pregnancy

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Pregnant? Tired? Want to know how to get some bounce back in your step? Rosie Brogan gets the answers from Accredited Practicing Dietitian Natasha Murray, spokesperson for the Dietitians Association.

What triggers tire out pregnant women?
Tiredness is quite common during the first trimester as the body becomes used to the metabolic changes needed for the baby to grow and develop. This usually subsides by around weeks 12-14.

However, some women continue to experience tiredness throughout the rest of their pregnancy. Now is the time to really listen to your body and rest whenever you can!

Running around after another child and maintaining a busy schedule can trigger tiredness. It is also important to eat well as low levels of iron or low blood sugar levels may contribute to fatigue.

Later in pregnancy, interrupted sleep (from insomnia, frequent trips to the toilet, discomfort, reflux or being anxious) can contribute to being tired, as well as your growing baby – which places more demands on your body.
Do pregnant women need to adjust their diet to combat fatigue?
Eating small meals and snacks regularly throughout the day will help keep energy levels stable and help combat fatigue.

Pregnant women should avoid reaching for sugary foods and/or caffeine to boost their energy levels. These only provide a short-term solution and are foods and drinks that should be consumed in small amounts during pregnancy.
What are the top foods for pregnant women and why?
Eating a variety of foods from all five food groups is important for pregnant women to help meet their extra nutrition requirements.

Aim for four to six serves of breads, cereals, rice, pasta and noodles, five to six serves of vegetables and legumes, four serves of fruit, two serves of milk, yoghurt and cheese and one and a half serves of meat and meat alternatives.

Choose reduced fat dairy and lean meat to reduce how much fat you’re eating.
What lifestyle shifts best boost energy during pregnancy?
Keeping active is one of the best ways to boost energy during pregnancy.

This doesn’t mean hitting the gym for hours at a time, but including physical activity where ever you can (and are comfortable); it might be going for a walk on your lunch break, swimming a few laps of the local pool, or joining in a pregnancy yoga class.