extreme fatigue during pregnancy

How To Cope With Extreme Fatigue During Pregnancy

Extreme fatigue during pregnancy is a normal and common symptom in pregnant women. Here are my top tips for fighting the overwhelming exhaustion.


Extreme tiredness during pregnancy is a fairly common symptom. Pregnancy fatigue can be relentless and is most likely to occur in the early months of pregnancy and late in the third trimester.

So if the exhaustion has taken over your life and all you can think about is your bed, don’t worry. This is perfectly normal and there are things you can do to fight extreme fatigue during pregnancy.


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extreme fatigue during pregnancy


What Causes Extreme Pregnancy Fatigue?

First Trimester Fatigue

Hormone changes are mostly responsible for extreme tiredness in the first trimester. The increased level of progesterone is the main culprit for making you sleepy in the early months.

If you suffer from nausea and vomiting in the first trimester you will likely feel a drop in energy. Morning sickness can leave you feeling drained and extremely lethargic.

In the first few weeks of pregnancy your body is going through a lot of changes. You will need to slow down, relax and give your body time to adjust.





Second Trimester Fatigue 

Although you may still feel tired during your second trimester, the fatigue should ease up a bit. Your body has now adjusted to the whole pregnancy thing and your energy should be on the rise.

This is the time in your pregnancy to be productive and get as much done as you can. If you plan on taking a baby-moon I strongly recommend doing so in the second trimester when your energy levels are up.

However, try not worry if the fatigue does continue. It is still possible to suffer from pregnancy fatigue in the second trimester.


Third Trimester Fatigue 

There is a good chance the exhaustion will return with a vengeance in the third trimester. Your baby will be pretty big by now, you are carrying extra weight, and just carrying out daily activities will tire you easily.

The quality of your sleep may not be good in the third trimester. Your bump is going to get in the way, and you may have backache and leg cramps which are going to disturb you at night.

You will also find that you are peeing a lot more in late pregnancy. Which means you will be up frequently through the night and not getting the sleep you need.



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extreme fatigue during pregnancy


How To Cope With Extreme Fatigue During Pregnancy

My top tips for how to beat pregnancy fatigue.


Get A Good Nights Sleep

This may be staying the obvious but you really do need to try and get more sleep at night. Improving the quality and quantity of your sleep will make you feel so much better during the day.

Sleep during pregnancy can be a challenge, especially in the third trimester. Try going to be an hour earlier than usual and sleeping in an hour later. Don’t schedule anything for too early in the morning so you can hit that snooze button.

Keeping a good sleep routine is also a good idea, try to go to bed and wake up at the same times every day and get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.

Although your caffeine intake will be low while you are pregnant don’t have any at all in the evening. It’s also best to avoid screen time for at least an hour before bed so your brain isn’t overstimulated before sleep.

During the later months of pregnancy it may be difficult to get comfortable at night. Using a pregnancy pillow will help to support your back, bump, and legs while you sleep.

Find out how to choose the best pregnancy pillow for you.


Eat A Healthy Balanced Diet

A good diet will help to keep your energy levels up. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain, and foods high in protein.

Pregnancy fatigue can be linked to iron deficiency so eating foods with high iron content will also be beneficial. These include, spinach, broccoli, nuts and seeds, lentils, dried fruit, and rice.




You may find that emotional stress is a factor in your pregnancy fatigue. Especially in the first trimester when you are still adjusting to your pregnancy and becoming a mom.

Hormone changes may affect your mood and you may feel like you are not in control of your own emotions. This can be draining.

This is perfectly normal, but relaxing and taking steps to decrease your stress levels can help to increase your energy.

Try some prenatal yoga, meditation, or mindfulness exercises. Take yourself out of stressful situations  where possible and make sure you have some quality time on your own.

Take a relaxing bath, do something you love, or just curl up with a good book for an hour. Do whatever helps you to relax, and lower your stress levels.


Get Plenty Of Rest During The Day

Allow yourself an extra hour in bed if you can and have periods of rest throughout the day. Think about taking an afternoon nap. Bed rest will really help with your energy levels.

Don’t rush around doing everything at once. Space out your tasks and take a break in between. If you can’t go to bed throughout the day then try to sit with your feet up and relax as much as possible.


Change Up Your Schedule 

Having extreme fatigue during pregnancy is not conducive to a busy life. If you usually have a busy schedule you may need to make some changes for the duration of your pregnancy. 

Try to space out strenuous activities and give yourself breaks throughout the day. It may be beneficial to work part time, or to get some work done at home if that’s possible.

Its going to be beneficial to make your schedule lighter and less busy, until your energy levels are back up.





Regular Exercise

This might sound counterproductive but regular, gentle exercise will help you to keep your energy levels up and beat that fatigue.

Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Go for a walk, or join a prenatal exercise or yoga class. Swimming is also great exercise during pregnancy. 

Getting plenty of exercise during the day will also help you to sleep better at night, just make sure you don’t overdo it.


Ask For Support

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. Explain that you are struggling right now and you will probably find that they are only too happy to help you.

They will understand that your body is going through a tough time right now and you need to rest.

Ask your partner to take on a few extra chores, let mom cook you dinner, or have a friend pick up your groceries. Every little helps. 


When To See A Doctor

Feeling pretty exhausted most of the time can be a normal part of pregnancy. However,  if you are in any way concerned about your pregnancy fatigue then it’s best to get checked out.

There are underlying conditions such as anaemia, and prenatal depression that could be causing your extreme tiredness. See a Doctor if you suffer from any of the following alongside your fatigue.

  • Breathlessness
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Low mood
  • Panic/Anxiety 

Just remember that pregnancy fatigue is normal, and that you just need to take care of yourself and get plenty of rest.


extreme fatigue during pregnancy


How To Cope With Extreme Fatigue During Pregnancy

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