The first time you are pregnant it’s all fun and exciting because you get to take naps and go grab ice cream whenever you darn well please. No one is there to judge. Life is good.
The second time around, however, there is another little person present in your life. This is when life gets interesting because surviving pregnancy fatigue while caring for a toddler isn’t as easy as it looks. You want to take a nap and your toddler wants to poke at your eyes and mash your face around. You want to eat some Ben and Jerry’s, but your toddler is right there looking at you asking if he can have ice cream for lunch too.
Pregnancy fatigue is no joke. So if you find yourself pregnant and parenting a toddler at the same time, here are a few tips to overcome the pregnancy exhaustion and actually get a few things done in the meantime….
Drink up like you are traveling a deserted island without water.
Your body using up an awful lot of water to build and grow cells, in addition to creating amniotic fluid to cushion the baby inside you. When I was pregnant with my first, the practitioner told me to drink a gallon of water per day. Seriously, a freaking gallon. I’m not sure that I could do it, even if I tried, but the point is to drink as much water as possible.
Drinking enough water will cut down on pregnancy fatigue because when you are dehydrated you also feel very tired and sleepy. Dehydration can also cause you to experience nasty headaches. So fabulous plain old water can help minimize headaches and fatigue and offer immense benefits to your baby.
Eat foods that will actually boost your energy.
During pregnancy, especially when you are tired or feeling slightly queasy, it’s easy to reach for simple carbs or sugar. Those foods, as much as we all love them, actually make you feel more tired and fatigued throughout the day.
What are energy-boosting foods exactly? Well iron rich foods for starters offer immense support for pregnancy fatigue. Anytime your iron gets on the low side you will start to feel tired, moody, and sleepy. You can get more iron by eating enough leafy greens, red meats, chicken livers (Sounds gross, but they contain a ton of iron) and taking your daily prenatal multivitamin.
If the thought of eating these foods is making you nauseous, try a spinach and fruit smoothie to cover up the taste a little bit. We use this easy recipe several times a week!
Help your toddler learn independent play.
Independent play is what I like to call a mom sanity saver. If you can teach your toddler to play independently for an hour each day, you lay down and rest for a short bit each day. Not necessarily sleep because I know that probably would make people nervous to sleep while their child was awake playing, but even just lying on the couch for 30 minutes to allow your mind to rest can help quite a bit.
Independent play will also become invaluable to you as a mom once the baby comes. Once you are managing the day with multiple children, you are going to need a creative way to get things done.
Ask more from others.
This seems totally obvious. Ha. But still, it’s okay to ask others for a little bit of help. Maybe this means your husband puts your toddler to bed each night or you start rotating the bedtime routine between parents.
Maybe this means you send your child to a babysitter for a few hours a few times per week. Or maybe this means you and a friend swap kids for the day and give each other a break.
Which every option you try, it’s okay to ask for help rather than suffer in silence. We are all far better mothers when we actually take a little bit of recharge for ourselves.
Put other things aside for another day.
Getting more rest is a key factor to surviving pregnancy fatigue, and again, I know it seems totally obvious to do this. At the same time, I often find myself making excuses as to why I cannot get more sleep during pregnancy. So this time around, this simply need to wait for another day. Nothing bad will happen if the laundry isn’t done this minute or we don’t go to our regularly scheduled play date.
Most pregnant women need an extra hour or two of sleep each day just to feel rested. So if you sleep 7 hours normally, aim to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep per night to minimize pregnancy exhaustion.
Fighting, surviving, coping…pregnancy fatigue is challenging to manage while caring for a toddler. These tips are simple and easy to implement. They may not cure every ounce of pregnancy exhaustion, but they have certainly helped me stay functional this time around. I hope they will help you too!
Want more on pregnancy?
- Best Essential Oil Uses for Pregnancy Symptoms
- Minding Your Milk Supply: How to Successfully Breastfeed on a Schedule or Routine
- Best Freezer Meals for New Moms
- How to Calm a One Year-Old Tantrum Down in Minutes
What’s your best tip for surviving pregnancy fatigue while caring for a toddler? Let’s chat in the comments!