5 Tips for Dealing with Housework & First-Trimester Fatigue

Feeling tired at the beginning of your pregnancy is a gross understatement. For the first few months, many women feel so drained and exhausted that they struggle to complete even the basic tasks needed to keep up with housework or job responsibilities. Add that fatigue to morning sickness or queasiness and it can be impossible to get anything done.

Though it can be frustrating to fall behind, know that in most cases, fatigue and morning sickness last only a few months, usually letting up in the second trimester.

You can do a few things to get through that time:

  1. Get help. If you can’t afford a housekeeper, enlist the help of your husband or children. They should be able to step up and take over some of your responsibilities for a few months. If this isn’t an option, check with your local church or community college. They might be able to recommend someone whose rates you can afford, or who might be willing to trade services.
  2. Get some rest. Take a nap! You’re feeling this way for a very good reason. In early pregnancy when the placenta is forming, a tremendous amount of energy is required. Many women report insomnia, which can result from hormonal changes. You’re not being lazy, and the extra sleep might help you feel better.
  3. Stay healthy. Drink a lot of water and work in a well-ventilated room. Many cleaning chemicals, though safe to use during pregnancy, put off vapors that shouldn’t be inhaled. Open a window and don’t mix different types of cleaners. Certain chemicals can be hazardous if combined; ammonia and bleach are classic examples. Take frequent breaks if you feel tired and pace yourself.
  4. Eat for energy. High protein foods provide you with energy, and when eaten right before bed or when you wake up, can help prevent morning sickness. If meat or eggs make you sick, try an apple with peanut butter, a handful of nuts or shelled edamame.
  5. Give yourself a break. This might be the hardest to do, but remember that your body is growing a baby, and that requires a lot of energy. Give yourself permission to let the unnecessary go. As long as your family is fed (even if that means take-out or canned soups and sandwiches for now) and the house is somewhat picked up, it’s okay to let go until you feel better.

Share your tips for handling housework and pregnancy fatigue in our comment section.

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