Fatigue Part 1: Are you getting fatigue from your lifestyle?
Why am I so tired? Yes, it is completely expected that you will be tired when you have a child. Sleep has gone out the window. But when you become more lethargic than usual, you may need to do some investigations.
The investigations should start with lifestyle.
Are you exercising? Exercise improves mood, sleep, gives energy, reduces risk of many different medical issues, and helps control weight. Increase energy by increasing blood flow and heart rate, also resulting in a release of endorphins. When we do not exercise, this can lead to a deconditioned body, health issues, obesity, low mood and of course, fatigue. It is recommended to exercise 30 minutes a day, this could be a walk in the morning or even gardening.
Your body runs on fuel from the food you eat and drink, so a poor diet can lead to a lack of energy. Eating a nutritional diet and drinking plenty of water fuels the body to give the energy needed for your busy schedule, aka running around after a child. Eating large amounts of white bread, pasta, rice, high sugary food, or fried foods can lead to fatigue due to its low nutritional value. There may be a jolt in energy due to the sugar content but is often followed by a low in energy. This should be replaced by fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
Not enough calories or not eating enough can also cause fatigue. Especially when busy with a new child or breast feeding, you will need to eat good amounts of quality food. Ensure there are plenty of healthy snacks in the house so you can eat even when too busy to prepare something. You may also want to consider taking supplements to ensure your body is getting enough vitamins. When breast feeding you should be taking vitamins including calcium already. If you are not, your body may become drained due to the amount of work, stress, and the lack of sleep.
A well-rounded diet can give you all the nutrients you need but when busy and drained these can drop. You can become low on nutrients that provide energy to the body including, magnesium (muscles), potassium (muscles), vitamin D (bones and muscles), B12 (Blood), iron (Blood) and omega-3 (anti-inflammatory).
It can be hard to adjust to some of these issues when you are tired. Slowly adjusting your diet and bringing in more activities into your lifestyle can help you progress to a life with more energy. If this does not work, you may have something more going on and need further investigations medically.
I will discuss this further in fatigue and the medical causes.