Life Hacks to Prevent Tiredness and Heartburn in Pregnancy
Ask any pregnant woman who is in her first or third trimester how they are feeling and the answer will almost always be “tired”. One of the first clues that many women have that they may be expecting a visit from the stork is the fact that they find themselves droopy eyed in the middle of the day for no reason. You may find that doing a simply task as walking around the block leaves your desperate for an afternoon nap. The energy you use to have is now faced with the challenge of growing a baby and your body is hard at work. You are also producing more blood, using more water and nutrients and have a higher heart rate and metabolism when you are pregnant. While the best defensive against the tiredness you will face is to get more sleep. There are also some healthy foods choices you can make that will help you get through your day if you do not have the opportunities to take naps.
First, adjust the size of your meals. Anyone who eats a large meal is going to feel tired afterwards regardless of if they are pregnant or not. Being pregnant is going to make the effect of a big meal that much worse. Most of your energy is going to be used towards digesting the meal so of course you will feel sluggish and drained. Eat smaller meals and eat more often. Eating six small meals a day will help you combat fatigue.
Eating a good breakfast is the best way to start your day. You are refueling your body after a long foodless night with a good breakfast. A good breakfast is not a cup of coffee and a piece of toast. You want to stick to complex carbs and protein. Whole grain cereal and a banana for example. These foods will stay with you and keep your blood sugar and energy level up for quiet a while.
Do not skip lunch. There are many people who skip lunch thinking they will make up for it by having a big dinner. This is bad when you are not pregnant but it’s even worse when you are pregnant. You need that midday meal to help refuel your body. As with your breakfast, you should keep it filled with whole grains and protein. Have a whole grain pita and stuff it with chicken salad and add a side of grapes or an apple.
Plan to eat most of your calories during the day. A pregnant woman needs an extra 300 calories a day throughout their second and third trimester. The first trimester those are not needed yet. You should eat these extra calories through out the day in the form of healthy snacks such as nuts, cheese, veggies and dip. Do not save your biggest meal until the end of the day. Your body needs these calories to help you get through your day. Steer clear of the quick sugar fixes like candy and soda. In the end these will only make you more tired.
Lastly, make sure you are getting enough iron. Eat iron fortified food such as spinach and lean red meat to keep your energy up. There are times when extreme fatigue could be the symptom of an iron deficiency and you might need an iron supplement also.
Besides eating well, make sure you get plenty of rest even if this means pushing your bedtime up and giving up those late night TV talk shows. As any parents of newborns will tell you, get your rest while you still can.
Heartburn does not just affect those who are high stressed or love their spicy foods. Pregnant women suffer from heartburn too. You will find as your pregnancy progresses that antacids tend to become your best friend. Heartburn has nothing to do with your heart. It is when the acid from your stomach leaks up into the esophagus. Heartburn is very common during pregnancy. In fact one in four women experience heartburn during their pregnancy usually during the third trimester. The reason is that your baby has grown a tremendous amount and your uterus has moved up and is now putting pressure on your stomach. This crowds the digestive tract and allows acids to travel back up the esophagus. There is an old wives tale that if you have bad heartburn, your baby will have a lot of hair. Of course there is no proof in this but it is a fun thing to believe in.
There are ways you can help prevent heartburn during pregnancy. You can start by taking your time while you eat. Not only will you enjoy your food better but your stomach will not have to work as hard to digest your food.
You also want to try eating early and eat at least two hours before you go to bed that night so your body has plenty of time to digest your food. Keep your meals small. Stick with eating six small meals through out the day. Large meals tend to stuff up your stomach which is already extra squashed thanks to your uterus. A stuffed stomach makes it that more likely that some of the food along with stomach acid will make its way back up the esophagus.
Also, make sure you keep your fluids and solids separate. Too much fluid mixed with too much food can distend the stomach which can aggravate heartburn. You also want to eat sitting up. Don’t eat while lying down, and if you are having a bed time snack make sure you are propped up by pillows.
Your weight plays a part in how much heartburn you may experience. The heavier you are, the more pressure you are placing on your esophageal sphincter. This is another reason why you should not gain to much more than the recommended amount.
Find out what foods cause your heartburn. Once you figure out what foods cause heartburn, you can cut them out of your diet. Some foods you might want to steer clear of are highly seasoned spicy foods, soda, tomatoes sauce, chocolate, and some citrus. Greasy foods are also a big contributor to heartburn. Cutting out greasy, fried food is going to help with your heartburn prevention.
When all else fails, take something for your heartburn. If you are not comfortable taking any over the counter medicines try some natural ways such as eating a handful of almonds. Almonds are a stomach settler and might help with your heartburn. Another natural remedy is a tablespoon of honey mixed with milk is a favorite for preventing heartburn.
Like with some pregnancy discomforts, heartburn is one that can be avoided as long as you take the steps and eat properly. Even without suffering from a lot of heartburn, your baby still could be born with a full head of hair.