Mother and Baby

9 ways to give yourself an energy boost during pregnancy

Once you've got your head around the faint line on the pregnancy test, it's easy to imagine your life as one with boundless energy, streams of compliments and the 'pregnancy glow', everyone talks about... right?

However, pregnancy is full of undesirable side effects (hello, acid reflux!), tiredness and being bombarded with the infamous "When is it due?" at every family gathering. 

If you are experiencing pregnancy fatigue, there are a few things you can do to give you a much-needed boost. 

Thank us later! 

 

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1) Start your day with a stretch 

Having a stretch first thing is the best thing you can do for energy levels. 
‘It mobilises the whole body, boosting blood flow and oxygen to your brain,’ says personal trainer Alison Merry, founder of Blooming Fit.
Stretching is also a godsend for achy joints and muscles, which is a common side effect of pregnancy.
Just avoid doing any deep-back stretches, without consulting a doctor.   

For mum-to-be's struggling for ideas, there's lots of great YouTube videos which you can follow along from your own living room! 
 
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2) Eat a breakfast rich in protein

Unless you're a complete breakfast-phobe, it's important to get a hearty and balanced meal first thing. Breakfast is especially important after a long night's sleep as your body is low on energy and micronutrients. 

Ensuring your breakie is made up of quality carbohydrates and proteins is essential for helping you feel both satisfied and energised. 

 ‘Carbs give you energy but eating them with protein slows the release rate, so you feel fuller and more energised for longer,’ says Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of The Natural Health Bible For Women. Try wholemeal toast with eggs and tomato, or a nut butter. 

Greek yoghurt and oats are also great sources of protein. 

Read more: 8 food and drinks to avoid during pregnancy
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3) Drink enough water

Despite our bodies being made up of 61% water, gulping down a glass of the stuff always seems to be a low priority on our list... 
You're probably aware that drinking enough water is essential for nearly all our bodily processes, but did you know, not drinking enough can also play havoc on your energy levels? 
Remember to keep a two-litre bottle of water on your desk and sip throughout the day.

 
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4) Go outside on your lunch break 

Vitamins produced by the sun’s rays (specifically vitamin D) can help support your immune system in pregnancy.

‘Make the most of the daylight for at least 20 minutes every day – go for a walk or sit on a park bench in your lunch break,’ says midwife and pregnancy wellbeing expert Zita West.

While we are the first to admit the UK isn’t exactly blessed in the sunshine department, you can still get vitamin benefits on a cloudy day – you just need to be outside for longer. Certainly more revitalising than checking Facebook...
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5) Head to the local swimming pool

Not only is swimming a great way to unwind, it's extra gentle on the joints. 

‘Public pools are usually quiet in the evenings, so go for a swim one or two nights a week,’ says Alison. ‘Gentle exercise helps your body release stress hormones, so it’s calming before bed.’
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6) Choose a light dinner 

Remember the famous saying, 'Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper'? This is something to remember when looking for an energy boost 

Note: Of course, you want to be eating enough calories and nutrients throughout the day or you'll feel very fatigued. 

But, it's wise to opt for a smaller portion on an evening to help combat indigestion and keep blood sugar levels stable before sleep. 

‘Light dinners will help stop indigestion or heartburn keeping you awake,’ says Marilyn. ‘If hunger wakes you at night, have a small, carb-based snack shortly before bed to raise your blood sugar. A small bowl of porridge with milk is perfect.’
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7) Try a DIY foot bath 

Give your tootsies a much-needed pampering session with a makeshift foot bath. All you need is a bowl of hot water and a bowl of cold. Put your feet in the warm water for a minute, then switch to the cold. Repeat three times.

This calming ritual will help increase circulation, de-puff those newly-formed cankles and help give your energy levels a boost! 
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8) Add body brushing to your routine

Here’s an easy way to get yourself going first thing. Before you turn on the shower, get to work with a body brush.
Your skin may be extra-sensitive, so choose one with soft bristles – we recommend the Round Body Brush (£8, The Body Shop).
Start by rubbing your feet (if you can still reach them!), then gently move upwards towards your heart to boost your circulation. The increased blood flow will seriously liven you up.
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9) Switch your usual triple-shot coffee

Although a daily cup of coffee is fine during pregnancy, if you’re more of a triple-shot macchiato girl, you may miss your usual hit. Try herbal teas, instead. Peppermint will refresh you and make you feel much more alert. For a long-term boost, try nettle or fennel. These increase the amount of iron you absorb from food.

What have your energy levels been like since finding out you're pregnant? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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Alongside her role as the Digital Editor at Mother&Baby, Aimee runs the #mumtribe Facebook group and leads the M&B Awards content strategy.


Winner of Immediate Media Award for 'Magazine Journalist of the Year 2016. Her hobbies include truffle mac and cheese, Class Pass and relentlessly checking (and scolding!) the weather app.

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