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Pregnancy Fatigue



You’re exhausted. You don’t know which way is up or down. All you want to do is lie down on a soft bed and sleep. Is this normal? If you’re pregnant, absolutely! For the first few months of pregnancy, many women feel lethargic. Fatigue is a common complaint. When I’m pregnant I can usually only last until 8pm everyday and then I need to be in bed. I also require daytime naps. I’m one of those women who normally has a pretty challenging three months.


Thankfully the tiredness usually disappears during the second trimester and you will feel as though you have gotten your second wind because your body has finally acclimated to housing the two of you together. The lethargy tends to make a reappearance during the final trimester, running up to the day you give birth.


What brings on these feelings of exhaustion? For first trimester fatigue, there are many theories about the causes. These include the high levels of progesterone your body is suddenly making, which can induce tiredness. Frequent bathroom trips during the evening as well as morning sickness will also contribute to your tiredness. For me this means I never get a restful night of sleep because I have to get up to go to the toilet every few hours. If you think that your weariness may be the result of something else, ask your doctor to test your iron levels because you could be suffering from anemia (tiredness is one of the symptoms).


Third trimester energy zappers include the extra weight you are carrying around as well as those routine trips you will probably have to make to the bathroom every two hours. Yes, you only get a respite from those frequent toilet visits during the second trimester so enjoy it. As I mentioned the extra weight will make you feel exhausted. I gained a total of 55 lbs. during my first pregnancy and carrying all that weight made it harder for me to get around and be active.


What can you do to fight pregnancy fatigue?

1. Get rest. It’s as simple as that. For me, taking naps really helped. Get to bed earlier. Learn to listen to your body and its needs.

2. Eat healthily. This will give you more energy. Cut back on the junk and eat nutrient-dense foods. 

3. Don’t forget to exercise moderately. This will help balance you and provide energy boosts. Always obtain your doctor’s approval before you embark on any exercise program. 

4. Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water.


My advice to any pregnant woman is to sleep as much as she possibly. Take advantage of the quiet and solitude. Once your baby makes his entrance into the world, there is very little sleep to be had for the next few years.


Photo by Stanley Ong for PROJECT MOM