Posts Tagged ‘fatigue’

How to stay healthy and safe at work

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Most women who work will continue to do so during pregnancy—some will work up to the day of their baby’s birth. But sometimes working during pregnancy can have some challenges. Here are some tips that can help you stay safe and comfortable at work throughout your pregnancy.

Common pregnancy discomforts

  • Nausea: Unfortunately morning sickness can happen at any time during the day. To help manage your nausea, try to avoid foods and smells that bother you and snack on crackers or other bland foods. And make sure you are drinking lots of fluids!
  • Fatigue: Being pregnant can be exhausting—especially during the first trimester. During your work day, try to get up and walk for a few minutes or even take a power nap in your car during your lunch break. Get to bed early, exercise, and eat healthy foods.

Workplace safety

  • Dangerous substances: If you work with metals (such as mercury or lead) chemicals, or radiation, talk to your health care provider. Describe your work environment and any safety equipment you or your company uses. Your provider can then tell you if it’s safe for you to keep working during pregnancy.
  • Heat: Working in places that are very hot can raise your body temperature. If your body temperature is too high, it could be dangerous to the baby. Make sure you talk to your provider.
  • Heavy duty jobs: If your job includes heavy lifting or climbing, it might not be safe during pregnancy. Nausea, fatigue and dizziness can make it hard to do these jobs safely. And your added weight can throw off your sense of balance and make you more likely to fall. You may need to talk to your employer about taking on other job responsibilities during your pregnancy.
  • Infections: If you work with children or in a health care setting, you may be at risk for infections. Wash your hands regularly. If you think you were exposed to an illness, talk to your provider right away.

Computers and desks

If you work on a computer or sit at a desk for most of the day, comfort is key. To avoid wrist and hand discomforts, neck and shoulder pains, backaches and eye strains, follow these tips:

  • Take short breaks often and walk around your office or building.
  • Adjust your chair, keyboard and other office equipment to be more comfortable.
  • Use a small pillow or cushion for lower back support.
  • Keep your feet elevated by using a footrest.
  • Be sure to use the correct hand and arm positions for typing.
  • Use a non-reflective glass screen cover on your computer monitor.
  • Adjust the computer monitor for brightness and contrast to a setting that is comfortable for your eyes.

It’s important that the work environment around you is safe for you and baby. If you have concerns, speak with your health care provider and your supervisor at work.

You can learn more ways to stay safe at work on our website

Have questions? Email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Pregnant in the heat – can I get some sleep?

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

sleepingAs your belly is getting bigger, and the temperatures get hotter, your hours of sleep may be getting smaller. Lack of sleep is a common complaint we hear from pregnant women. Trying to get comfortable, rearranging pillows and having to get up to use the bathroom are only a few of the culprits that can cause lack of sleep.

But getting a good night’s sleep is crucial– just as important as eating nutritious food and drinking enough water. Eating, staying hydrated and sleeping are the foundations to good health and a happy pregnancy.

Trouble sleeping doesn’t just happen late in pregnancy; sleeplessness can happen right from the beginning. And if you’re experiencing hot summer temperatures and don’t have air conditioning, you may be feeling the heat, literally. No only that, the same pregnancy hormone that causes fatigue during the day can disrupt your sleep cycle at night. And if you have added anxiety or stress, this will only increase the problem.

So what can you do? here are a few tips to help you sleep through the summer heat:

  • The basement or bottom level of houses are usually the coolest – try setting up a temporary bed when the temps rise.
  • Wet a washcloth in cool water and place it around your neck.
  • Sleep with light, breathable sleepwear and sheets.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning in your house, use one or more fans to help you stay cool.

Between heat, bathroom trips and rearranging pillows, try to catch up on sleep where you can. Here are more tips on how to get your sleep in before baby comes.

For more information on how to get a restful night’s sleep, and when to see a doctor regarding possible sleep problems, see this handy guide.

Have questions?  Email or text AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

New baby = new mom fatigue

Monday, October 10th, 2016

mother calming crying babyYou’ve just given birth and brought your baby home – now you can relax right? Not really.

Once you bring your new baby home, new parents (especially moms) are often overwhelmed and exhausted. Between the feedings, sleepless nights and extra responsibilities you will find you’re very tired. You may find it hard to balance the responsibilities of your new baby, your family and your home. So will you have any relaxation time? Not for a while.

Take comfort in knowing you’re not alone and your feelings are normal. Here are some tips to get through your new mom fatigue.

Get rest

Now that you know relaxation is out the door, you can still catch up on some much needed rest. Start by napping when your baby does, even if it’s a quick one. If your baby’s breathing, cooing or restlessness keep you awake, place her in her own room to sleep. Remember you and your baby are top priority and rest is important – if you need to limit your visitors and put off your household responsibilities, do it.

Eat well and keep moving

Staying active can actually help give you more energy during the day. You may already find yourself constantly going up and down your stairs while grabbing a clean diaper or washing a bottle, but if you want to start physical activity, be sure to get your provider’s OK. If the weather is nice, taking your baby for a walk is a great place to start becoming active.

Eating healthy foods and drinking lots of water will also help your energy level. And be sure to limit your intake of caffeine and sugar packed beverages.

Accept help

This is an exciting time and your friends and family can’t wait to meet your new baby. When they come to visit and offer a helping hand, accept their offer. Suggest they wash some dishes, get you a plate of food or simply hold your baby while you take a shower. Working with your partner to divvy out responsibilities or feedings can also help. If you are breastfeeding, have your partner bring the baby to you and burp her after the feeding.

Caring for a new baby is a wonderful time, but when you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted remember that the newborn days won’t last long. Accept or ask for help when you need it. Soon you’ll be able to better manage your time and your energy to enjoy your new bundle.

Do you have a newborn at home? Share your tips. Have questions? Email or text AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Eat, sleep, and repeat

Monday, March 7th, 2016

sleepAs your belly is getting bigger, your hours of sleep may be getting smaller. Lack of sleep is a common complaint we hear from pregnant women. Trying to get comfortable, rearranging pillows and having to get up to use the bathroom are only a few of the culprits that can cause lack of sleep.

But getting a good night’s sleep is crucial– just as important as eating nutritious food and drinking enough water. Eating, staying hydrated and sleeping are the foundations to good health and a happy pregnancy.

Trouble sleeping doesn’t just happen late in pregnancy though; sleeplessness can happen right from the beginning. The same pregnancy hormone that causes fatigue during the day can disrupt your sleep cycle at night. And if you have added anxiety or stress, this will only increase the problem.

This week, the National Sleep Foundation is celebrating its annual Sleep Awareness Week. If you do not get the sleep you need, your body will probably not operate as it should. Your judgment and reaction times may be negatively affected. Simple things like driving a car can be severely impacted with lack of sleep – it’s as dangerous a combination as drinking alcohol and driving.

So between bathroom trips and rearranging pillows, try to catch up on sleep where you can. Here are tried and true tips, which should help.

For more information on how to get a restful night’s sleep, and when to see a doctor regarding possible sleep problems, see this handy guide.

Have questions?  Email or text AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Holiday fatigue

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

tired santaWell, the holiday season is coming to a close. We thought we’d share this post from last year about how to combat holiday fatigue if you are pregnant. Happy New Year!!

Holiday season is in full swing—we just have to make it to New Year’s Eve. I am exhausted. Traveling, family, kids, parties—it all adds up to a lot of late nights and early mornings. And if you are pregnant, you may be more tired than usual. This is especially true during the first and third trimesters, when your body is producing new hormones and getting ready for the many changes that will be coming soon.

So what can you do to try to relieve your holiday fatigue? Here are some tips:

  • Rest when you can during the day and try to take a few breaks to renew your energy.
  • Lots of family activities may leave you feeling drained at the end of the day. Go to bed early, if you can.
  • Don’t drink lots of fluids too close to bedtime. Hopefully then, you will not have to get up to go to the bathroom.
  • If you often have heartburn, make sure you do not lie down right after you eat. Try to eat your last meal a few hours before you go to bed.
  • To avoid leg cramps, gently stretch your leg muscles before bedtime.
  • A nice 30 minute walk can refresh and invigorate you (make sure your doctor has said exercise is OK). But do not get too much exercise right before bed.
  • Be sure to drink enough fluids—water is usually best.
  • Deep breathing and meditation can help you find a moment of peace when you are feeling overwhelmed.
  • Try to limit unhealthy snacks. These can drain your energy. Fruits, vegetables, and foods high in iron and protein are good choices.
  • During this busy season, do not forget to take your prenatal vitamin. If you are anemic, ask your provider about an iron supplement.

You can read more about fatigue during pregnancy on our website. And if you have any questions, email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

How to combat holiday fatigue

Friday, December 26th, 2014

tired santaHoliday season is in full swing—we just have to make it to New Year’s Eve. I am exhausted. Traveling, family, kids, parties—it all adds up to a lot of late nights and early mornings. And if you are pregnant, you may be more tired than usual. This is especially true during the first and third trimesters, when your body is producing new hormones and getting ready for the many changes that will be coming soon.

 

So what can you do to try to relieve your holiday fatigue? Here are some tips:

• Rest when you can during the day and try to take a few breaks to renew your energy.

• Lots of family activities may leave you feeling drained at the end of the day. Go to bed early, if you can.

• Don’t drink lots of fluids too close to bedtime. Hopefully then, you will not have to get up to go to the bathroom.

• If you often have heartburn, make sure you do not lie down right after you eat. Try to eat your last meal a few hours before you go to bed.

• To avoid leg cramps, gently stretch your leg muscles before bedtime.

• A nice 30 minute walk can refresh and invigorate you (make sure your doctor has said exercise is OK). But do not get too much exercise right before bed.

• Be sure to drink enough fluids—water is usually best.

• Deep breathing and meditation can help you find a moment of peace when you are feeling overwhelmed.

• Try to limit unhealthy snacks. These can drain your energy. Fruits, vegetables, and foods high in iron and protein are good choices.

• During this busy season, do not forget to take your prenatal vitamin. If you are anemic, ask your provider about an iron supplement.

You can read more about fatigue during pregnancy on our website. And if you have any questions, email us at askus@marchofdimes.org.

New mom fatigue

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

wiped-outYou’ve welcomed your beautiful new baby to the world and have now brought him home. Having a new baby can be an exciting and joyous event. But it can also leave many new parents, moms especially, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Some moms might feel that compared to the first few weeks of life with a newborn, childbirth was the easy part!

Between the endless feedings, sleepless nights and other responsibilities, many women feel really, really tired in the weeks after birth. You may find it hard to balance taking care of a new baby, yourself, your family and your home. Take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. These feelings are normal. You can take steps to help you find more energy and overcome new mom fatigue.

Get plenty of rest – When there’s a new baby in the home, sleep is on everyone’s mind! Newborns sleep about 16 hours a day, often in about 3-hour periods. In the first few weeks of a baby’s life, it can be hard, if not impossible, for mom to get a solid stretch of 6 to 8 hours sleep at night. Try these steps to help you get the rest you need.
• Sleep when the baby sleeps, even if it’s just for a quick nap.
• Place the baby in the baby’s room.
• Put off other household responsibilities (laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc.).
• Limit visitors.

Eat healthy and be active – Eating healthy foods and getting exercise can help you have much needed energy and feel rested.
• Eat healthy foods.
• Drink lots of water.
• With your health care provider’s OK, get active.

Look to family, friends and others for help – As much as you may want to be “super mom,” no woman can be everything to everyone. If someone offers to help, say yes! Ask your partner, family and friends for help when you need it.
• Share nighttime parenting jobs.
• Ask guests to help out.
• Take advantage of babysitting offers.
• If you can afford it, hire some help for a little while.

Caring for a new baby can be a wonderful time in your life. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, remember that the newborn days won’t last long. Soon, you’ll be better able to manage your time and energy and enjoy these first precious moments in your child’s life.

Nap time for Santa

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

nap-timeMost pregnant women wrestle with fatigue, especially during early and late pregnancy.  If you celebrate Christmas, you’re probably running around putting finishing touches on gifts, dropping cards in the mail, planning meals, coordinating holiday parties… It gets exhausting just thinking about it.

If you’re pregnant, all this holiday hubbub can be really tiring. Don’t forget to plan some down time into your day.  And don’t think sitting still while you wrap a gift or two counts – it doesn’t.  Give yourself permission to chillax, take a snooze.  Pull the shades or drape a facial beanbag over your eyes and get horizontal.  Turn off the phone and cool it with the bell ringing for at least half an hour.  Recharge your batteries (oh, don’t forget to buy batteries for the gizmo!) so you’ve got the energy to enjoy the hustle and bustle.

I’m NOT sexually dysfunctional. I’m just really tired.

Monday, April 5th, 2010

63323191_thbI don’t need medical treatment. I’m not depressed. There’s nothing wrong with me. I don’t need to be “fixed”. It’s just a stage we’re going through as a new family. What I do need is some time, some rest and a little understanding. I haven’t slept through the night in 424 days. I’m still nursing at night. I brush my teeth with a baby on my hip. I am preoccupied and my priorities have shifted. And, I don’t see this as a bad thing either. This is the most important role I’ve ever played. I still love my husband, but I’m distracted. It’s hard to relax and focus on him knowing that the baby might wake up any minute. It won’t always be this way. We’ll get it back.

Why do I bring this up? Read for yourself by clicking here and let me know what you think. I came across this article and I’m feeling a little defensive about the topic. I can only speak for myself, but medication? Come on. It’s only natural to abstain from sex after a baby is born. We need medicine for this? A co-worker (DGR…you’re too funny) suggested jokingly, “perhaps they should make a medication for him to reduce his urges and let his poor wife get some sleep.”  HA! What are your thoughts on this…and let’s keep it clean folks ; )

‘Momnesia’

Monday, November 30th, 2009

19084068_thbAll weekend long I kept asking myself, “what am I forgetting?” It was driving me crazy. I knew there was something I was supposed to do. Then I logged onto the computer this morning and it dawned on me. I forgot to write a blog post for Friday. DOH!  I hate to admit that I have a memory problem (especially to colleagues), but unfortunately this is just one out of a hundred examples that I can give about the mental fog that I’m in.

I almost forgot my wedding anniversary recently. Good thing he brought it up the day before and I had a chance to run out and grab a card. I walk into a room and completely forget what I was intending to do. I can never find my cell phone. I have to keep sticky-notes on the computer screen, frig and in my car to serve as reminders. Put gas in car. Buy diapers. Call sister for her birthday. Take baby for flu shot. If it’s not in writing it’s not getting done. I actually just remembered that there are wet towels in the washing machine from two days ago. Gross.

This wasn’t always the case. I was sharp once, or so I thought. I wonder if I ever will be again or is this it? I’ve done a little reading and although researchers can’t explain all the ways motherhood affects a woman’s memory, they agree it can happen. Plummeting hormone levels after delivery, fatigue, stress/anxiety, drastically changed priorities and breastfeeding might be the culprits.

I wanted to end this post with a funny story, but unfortunately I can’t think of one, so that’s that.  Have a good day and please feel free to share your favorite ‘momnesia’ moment.