Choosing the right foods that keep you energized throughout the day is a pre-requisite to combat fatigue effectively. The following article discusses the changes that you need to make in your daily routine to cut back fatigue.
Did You Know?
Dealing with mummy fatigue is all about prioritizing work that leaves you with ample time for yourself. It is also about making healthy lifestyle changes that replenish your energy levels and keeps you fresh and lively throughout the day.
Becoming a mother and taking care of a baby is a wonderful feeling. The first steps or the first words they utter are some of the most cherished moments of their growing up years. As a mother, you get so engrossed in nurturing the baby, that you tend to neglect your health.
You are always on your toes to ensure that your baby’s needs are fulfilled at the earliest. However, your baby’s daily care in addition to managing household chores is bound make you feel tired during the day. The new responsibility of meeting your baby’s needs daily can take a toll on your health. You start experiencing frequent fatigue and become sluggish in carrying out your day-to-day routine. It is no surprise that new moms tend to struggle with fatigue and low energy levels.
Ways to Deal with Mummy Fatigue
1. Eat the Right Food
Often, wrong food choices are responsible for causing flagging energy levels that make you feel extremely tired. Start your day with foods that boost energy and prevent you from becoming sluggish. Your breakfast should essentially consist of foods rich in proteins and complex carbohydrates such as eggs, almonds, oatmeal, nut butter spread over slices of whole grain bread, whole grain porridge, and yogurt. These foods are ‘fatigue fighters’ as they provide sustained energy that will keep you active all day long.
2. Increase Iron Intake
Persistent fatigue has also been attributed to iron deficiency anemia. This can happen when there has been heavy bleeding at the time of delivery. You need to add more iron to your diet to combat fatigue associated with this condition. Eat iron rich foods such as dark leafy green vegetables, dried fruits (prunes, raisins) and red meat. Also, talk to your doctor if it is necessary to have iron supplements.
3. Sleep Whenever Possible
Meeting the daily needs of your baby makes it impossible to have long hours of uninterrupted sleep. So, you need to sleep whenever time permits, especially when the baby snoozes off. A power nap of just 15-20 minutes in the afternoon can make you alert and keep you energized for the rest of the day.
4. Avoid Caffeine
Drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee is not a good option to combat fatigue. They may help to increase alertness but its side effects often manifest in the form of difficulty in sleeping. Insufficient sleep is bound to make you feel tired and lethargic. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that is known to ‘snatch’ away sleep. So, in order to get better quality sleep and have more energy, you need to stay away from caffeine.
5. Prioritize your Work
You need to put yourself on top of your to-do list. Yes, baby care is important but that does not mean you ignore your health. Baby duties such as diapering and keeping the baby engaged while you take nap or prepare meals can always be divided with your partner. If your partner genuinely cares about you, he would be more than happy to take charge of nighttime baby duties.
6. Laughter Helps
One of the best ways to relieve fatigue after a long tiring day is to get a couple of laughs. Enjoying few laughter inducing moments can certainly help to beat parenting stress. So, watch a comedy show or browse the Web for some funny jokes that give generous dollops of laughter.
7. Ask For Assistance
In order to ease the burden of household chores, you can always request your relatives and even neighbors to temporarily share some of your responsibilities. This can also help to relieve the stress as well allow you to devote more time for yourself. If financially viable, you could engage the services of a professional nurse, expert in baby care. In fact, hiring a babysitter can give you ample spare time to take rest as well as for leisure activities such as listening to music, reading books, and watching movies.
A few minutes of meditation in the morning, or whenever you get time, eases the mind and is considered to be the best stress-reduction break. Just focus on your breathing pattern while meditating to calm the mind and combat ‘new mom’ stress. In fact just 10 minutes of mindful meditation can tune you to face the challenges of day-to-day life.
Exercise can also be an effective tool to combat fatigue. Light exercises such as a walk in the park is a stress buster and helps to relieve physical and mental fatigue. Studies have also shown that people doing moderate exercise daily feel less fatigued and experience an increase in energy levels. So, if you want to feel energized and improve efficiency, incorporate a moderate intensity exercise routine (aerobics, brisk walking) into your daily schedule.
Medical Conditions Associated with Mummy Fatigue
Women experiencing persistent fatigue after delivery may be suffering from thyroid dysfunction. Also referred to as postpartum fatigue, this condition usually occurs 4-8 months after delivery. Postpartum depression has been associated with hypothyroidism, a condition that is marked by poor thyroid function, that leads to insufficient production of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism is treated orally with levothyroxine that contains synthetic thyroid hormones.
Unexplained tiredness in busy moms may also indicate hemochromatosis, a condition in which iron levels are well above the normal range. Also referred to as iron overload, this is a genetic condition in which your ability to absorb iron increases dramatically, which causes joint aches and lethargy, apart from fatigue. Untreated hemochromatosis can eventually lead to heart failure, cirrhosis, and even diabetes mellitus.