Excessive Yawning During Pregnancy – Causes And Treatment Options

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

pregnant woman yawning

It is quite common to see someone break into a yawn just because they saw someone else yawning. Yawning is contagious they say, and so there is nothing to worry about a few yawns. What about excessive yawning during pregnancy? Is it normal? Or do you have to worry about it?

Yawning is an involuntary action when your brain needs more oxygen. It is an indication of lethargy or tiredness. Yawning also helps regulate your brain’s temperature and match it with the rest of the body’s. Have you noticed pregnant women seem to yawn a lot? Have you ever wondered why they are always yawning or looking tired? If you are pregnant and yawning excessively, read this before you start panicking.

In This Article

What Is Excessive Yawning?

We all yawn multiple times a day. Sometimes, when we are very tired or have not slept much, we tend to yawn more. The yawns can be more in number and longer in duration. An average human yawns about 5 to 10 times a day and each of these yawns can last anywhere between 5 and 10 seconds.

It is okay to yawn a little more on some days. It could be due to excess tiredness or lack of sufficient sleep. However, if you are regularly yawning much more than 10 times a day, you are yawning excessively.

Causes of Excessive Yawning During Pregnancy

excessive yawning during pregnancy

There is not enough research or data on this aspect of pregnancy. Yawning is just your body’s way of telling you it is tired and needs more rest or sleep. Pregnancy changes a lot in your body, including your yawning frequency and sleep requirement. The three possible causes for excessive yawning during pregnancy are:

1. Empathetic Response

One particular study on the frequency of yawning in pregnant and non-pregnant women concluded that pregnant women spontaneously yawned more frequently than non-pregnant women.

According to a study, it could be the evolution of humankind that makes us yawn more than other creatures. The social and emotional attachment we develop as humans triggers a response in our brains when we see others yawn.

The impact is higher in pregnant women due to the developing maternal or parental instinct. Pregnant women are gearing up to completely support a new life. This changes the hormonal response and the way their brain reacts to certain stimuli. The excessive yawning during pregnancy could be the pregnant woman’s empathetic response to seeing others yawn.

2. Fatigue

Pregnant women tend to feel more tired than others. She is growing a whole human inside her and it is bound to take a toll on her energy levels. The surge and fluctuations in her hormones also make her feel more sleepy than usual, especially during the daytime.

One of the early pregnancy symptoms is tiredness. The body is doing extra work and hence tires more easily. Not all pregnant women get the chance to take it easy or get more sleep during pregnancy. Due to various commitments, many pregnant women survive on the usual rest or sleep.

This imbalance in the body’s increasing tiredness and the actual rest it is getting to recover can lead to an increase in the number of yawns per day.

3. Increase In Progesterone

Progesterone is a hormone that plays an important role in your reproductive system. During pregnancy, the body produces more of this hormone to ensure the egg stays attached to the uterine lining. Progesterone levels increase right from the start of your pregnancy and reach their highest in the third trimester.

An increase in progesterone levels can make you feel more tired and sleepy. It increases drowsiness during the day, which over time can lead to fatigue. This could also be a reason for your excessive yawning during pregnancy.

Treatment Options for Excessive Yawning

pregnant woman sleep

There is no one straight approach to treating excessive yawning. Since it is the body’s response to what is happening on the inside, the treatment will vary from person to person. Some of the treatment options for excessive yawning during pregnancy are

1. Changing Medications 

If your prenatal medications are making you feel more tired and drowsy than usual, then your doctor can alter the dosage. They can even prescribe an equivalent medication.

2. Getting More Sleep

If your excessive yawning is due to a lack of sleep or a sleep disorder, you can try changing your sleep schedule. Your doctor may not prescribe any medications during pregnancy but may offer therapy or tips to improve sleep.

3. Reduce Progesterone

A few lifestyle changes can help bring down the progesterone levels but it is not recommended during pregnancy. If your progesterone is reduced, it increases the chances of complications in your pregnancy.

Should You See A Doctor for Frequent Yawning During Pregnancy?

It is okay to yawn frequently. If pregnancy has increased your yawning frequency, it could be due to fluctuating hormones and your body’s tiredness. Try getting more sleep or changing your routine to include frequent rest periods. If nothing works and your yawning frequency is bothering you, it is advisable to see a doctor.

Remember, even if your doctor does not treat you for your excessive yawning, do not resort to self–medication. It is never a good idea to take medicines or opt for treatments without a doctor’s recommendation. When you are pregnant, you should be more cautious of what you put your body through.

Yawning is a common response to tiredness and fatigue. Humans also yawn when they see others yawn. If you are yawning excessively during pregnancy, don’t worry, it could be just the hormonal changes and general fatigue you are experiencing. However, if your yawning frequency is affecting your quality of life, do seek medical help.


1. How Many Times a Day Yawning Is Normal?

Yawning about 5 to 10 times a day is normal. A yawn more or less is nothing to worry about.

2. Does Excessive Yawning Affect All Pregnant Women?

No, not all pregnant women suffer excessive yawning. Though it is not common, there is nothing to worry about, and yawning will not affect the fetus in any way.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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