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First trimester fatigue is my least favorite part of being pregnant. The afternoons hit me really hard, when my eyes feel heavier and heavier, until I’m literally ready to fall asleep by 5pm. The first trimester is usually the worst for fatigue because your body is dealing with the highest levels of HCG hormones flowing through the body. Because of these increased levels, the first trimester is full of nausea and extreme tiredness.
I will never forget during my first pregnancy, when I worked a desk job at a doctor’s office, and I literally would go to my car during lunch break and fall dead asleep. I could barely get myself to wake up and come back in to work. Since my first pregnancy, and now that I am on my fourth, I do have some great ways you can battle the first trimester fatigue, so you can keep up with life and other little ones if you have them.
How long does the first trimester exhaustion last?
I think I’ve googled how long the fatigue lasts every pregnancy. Rest assured, the fatigue usually starts getting better by 12 weeks pregnant, and completely subsides by 14 weeks pregnant. Once the second trimester hits, most mamas feel a surge of energy that allows them to accomplish all the things they couldn’t for the last few weeks.
How I fight the fatigue during the first trimester:
I drink coffee:
Yes, I still have my cup of coffee every morning. I learned with my second pregnancy, that caffeine is fine during pregnancy in small doses, and it is more the 6 cups a day that medical professionals advise us away from. Of course with my first I gave up coffee immediately, and pretty much hated life. Now I’ve learned that a cup in the morning dramatically transforms my morning, helps me get through it, and isn’t bad for baby. Especially if your body is well adjusted to caffeine. If you don’t currently drink coffee, starting during pregnancy might not be a good idea because your body isn’t adjusted to the caffeine. Here’s a little research to help you decide if drinking coffee is worth it for you,
Due to conflicting conclusions from numerous studies, the March of Dimes states that until more conclusive studies are done, pregnant women should limit caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day. This is equal to about one 12 oz cup of coffee. (source)
I take power naps:
I allow myself power naps. This is where I lay down for 20-30 minutes at a time. Put a show on for little ones, or while my little ones are napping, I close my eyes. I’ve found this to be super helpful. If you need a full nap, you definitely can take one if you have some quiet time, but I never really do. I have a few moments before my littles are out of preschool, or a few moments here and there before they wake up, and I take advantage of it.
I drink energy smoothies:
My Milk Dust protein powder (and Bump Dust coming soon for the prenatal line!), offers a ton of nutrients, including energy-boosting vitamin b12. This can give you a little boost, and smoothies take some of the digestive work out for your body. Ever notice you may feel completely exhausted after eating? Well your body is spending energy digesting the meal, and smoothies help reduce some of that work by blending the ingredients. I’ve found this to be super helpful for me!
I walk as much as possible:
I can’t workout during the first trimester much. I have NO energy, but I do go on walks for about 3 miles at a time 3-4 times a week. That’s about all I can fit in, and have the stomach for. With the nausea and fatigue, when I do workout its a 15-minute Pilates/bodyweight workout just to help me keep some strength for the second trimester. Once the second trimester hits, I am totally back in action. I’ve noticed that getting out for walks, getting to the park with my boys, and even just walking my yard really helps. I’ve had my kids help me get my steps in and we pretended we were going on a safari around the yard. Anything to help you get more activity.
I don’t read to my kids:
I know this sounds weird, but I can’t read them stories or I fall asleep. Literally, 5 seconds of reading to them and I am out. I have my boys listen to stories on Audible now, which has been so helpful! I can have them listen to stories at night before bed, and it helps me not feel so tired. You can also listen to books on Audible too, to help keep your eyes from shutting on their own.
I sip on iced mint tea:
Throughout the day, I try to sip on iced mint tea. You can make ice tea at home by eating up your water and steeping two tea bags for a few minutes, so it is strong. Pour the tea over a big cup of ice. Some of the ice will melt, then add some more ice in. I have a big reusable cup from Starbucks that I make this in. I’ve found that the mint flavor is great for nausea and helps me feel less tired, without caffeine.
I snack a lot:
The fist timester is the worst in terms of diet and nutrition for me because I want to eat all the chips, nachos and bread. I’ve found that I can keep my energy up with snacks, but if I eat large meals, I’m out. I do eat a bit more than usual this way, but it doesn’t last long. I also try to make sure I get fruits and veggies in, as much as possible. Once I get through the first trimester, I usually jump right into my pregnancy eating clean challenge to get back on track and back in shape. And yes, you can get back in shape during pregnancy! Keep your snacks light, and hopefully you will be able to keep your energy up.
These are the best methods I’ve found to get through the extreme fatigue that hits like a brick wall during the first trimester. I have some other great tips to fight the neausea too, because I get the all-day, icky, car sick feeling that never goes away. I don’t throw up, but have to fight the constant nagging empty stomach sensation that never really goes away.