Pregnancy Fatigue – Causes And Remedies

6 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Pregnancy Fatigue
Have you been dragging your feet all day? Can’t wait to crash into your bed after coming home from work? Pregnancy fatigue is fairly common in the first trimester of pregnancy, and then after giving a break in the second trimester, it returns in the third trimester.

It is normal to feel all overly tired, exhausted and worn out during the early weeks and towards the end of pregnancy. However, pregnancy is different for every woman, some may feel fatigued all through their pregnancy while some seem to have an everlasting battery and are very active.

In This Article pregnancy pillow

What Causes Pregnancy Fatigue?

Pregnancy brings in a lot of changes in every part of the body which makes you feel exhausted. Well, pregnancy is, simply put, some real hard work. Even though you’re a good sleeper you will find it impossible to sleep during your pregnancy owing to the frequent bathroom breaks that you might be taking.

During the first trimester or the initial weeks, the body has to work enormously hard because the energy is used to make the placenta, which supports your baby’s life throughout the nine months of pregnancy. There is a drastic change in your metabolism and hormone levels, the blood pressure and blood sugars keep fluctuating and tend to drop down, and all this contributes to exhaustion.

Hence, though there is no ‘single answer as to what causes pregnancy fatigue, your hormonal changes, particularly the increase in progesterone, have been found to be the most likely cause. Add to that the roller coaster ride of pregnancy mood swings, and you have more to blame for your fatigue and drag.

Some Common Reasons For Pregnancy Fatigue

  • Your body is working overtime to support the baby it is nurturing.
  • Pregnancy fatigue can be a result of iron deficiency anemia. Get yourself checked for it.
  • You may not be getting enough sleep and rest owing to those interrupting bathroom breaks.
  • Health problems like anemia, thyroid, depression, etc., can also make you tired and exhausted.
  • Nausea and vomiting may take a toll on your energy levels.
  • You have a hectic schedule and cannot take it in your stride.

Pregnancy Fatigue During Second Trimester

pregnant women having coffer

In the second trimester, the energy level rises gradually and you will start feeling a little better. This is because the main task of building the placenta is completed during this phase and the body is now used to the hormonal and metabolism changes. This is the time when you can rejuvenate your energy and accomplish major tasks.

For some women, it may still not be good – which is just as normal – it is still possible to feel exhausted during this phase. Some women tend to enjoy the second trimester of the pregnancy as their baby and the body have somewhat settled into the routine.

The happy trimester won’t last too long as fatigue will return in the last trimester when you have a big bump, the fetus is grown, and puts a lot of pressure on your body; carrying this extra weight will make you feel tired.

How to Cope With Pregnancy Fatigue?

pregnant women going walk

Below are some tips to help cope with pregnancy fatigue:

1. Adjust Your Schedule

You may not be able to sleep 8 hours straight during pregnancy, hence you need to adjust your body to take frequent naps and rest to rejuvenate your energies. Try to be more organized and not take things head-on. Prioritize and let some things wait.

2. Body Indications

Listen to your body’s message when you’re tired. You are not a superwoman and neither should you try to be one! Dishes and dusting can wait, don’t indulge in any kind of activities that are not important. What you need now is rest, and it is not a luxury but a need.

3. Ask For Help

Don’t hesitate to ask for help from your mom or mother-in-law and of course your partner. He can do his share of the work and yours too. If offered a helping hand from friends or other family members accept it. If you can afford it, hiring a maid or a cook isn’t that bad an idea.

4. Get Enough Sleep

Whenever possible, take naps during the day. If you are sleepy make it a point to go to bed and get that little sleep. If possible go to bed early and cut down on late-night telly or movies. Catnaps during office can benefit a great deal. Even if you sleep long hours, you might wake up feeling lethargic. Hang in there, get frequent naps and plenty of rest, it will become better.

5. Eat a Well Balanced Diet

Your body needs energy, try giving it the fuel it needs. Follow a good and healthy pregnancy diet including whole grains, proteins, carbohydrates, fish, and dairy products. Five portions of vegetables and fruits should be consumed every day. Eat at regular intervals and frequently have mini meals.

[Read: Have a Balanced, Nutritional Diet During Pregnancy]

6. Exercise

This must be the last thing on your mind, but it is a must. Simple walking or prenatal yoga can leave you feeling rejuvenated and relaxed. Go for short walks or a swim it might make you feel refreshed and give you a better night’s sleep. The more you sleep the more energetic you will feel the next day.

How to Manage Pregnancy Fatigue at Work?

Pregnancy Fatigue at Work

Working during pregnancy can be contributing to fatigue and exhaustion to a great extent. At work, try to take things slowly and at your own pace. If your job does involve a lot of moving, speak to HR to change your profile. Do not take on new assignments or projects when pregnant. Keep yourself well organized so that you do not miss the targets and the deliverables. People are tuned to help pregnant women, so do not take it the other way, instead gladly accept help from colleagues. Sit straight and keep your feet elevated, like on a stool or a pile of books.

[Read: Working Through Your Pregnancy]

Pregnancy Fatigue During Afternoons

If you feel that you are drained out by the time it is afternoon, try sneaking two or three smaller meals instead of a big, heavy lunch. Try to get a nap if possible or just close your eyes for a few minutes. Taking your mind off sometimes really helps. Caffeine is not really recommended, but go for a small cup of herbal tea once in a while if that helps you.

Pregnancy Fatigue and Shortness of Breath

Pregnancy Fatigue and Shortness of Breath

As your pregnancy advances you may feel that you are running short of breath sometimes. This is mostly due to the fact that a pregnant body needs more oxygen and your body is adapting to making amends with this change. This does not mean that you breathe more times, but your inhalation and exhalation of air do increase significantly with each breath. Towards the end of the pregnancy, your growing uterus puts pressure on your diaphragm and breathing could seem like a task. This is often so if you are carrying multiples, or have excessive amniotic fluid.

Pregnancy fatigue accompanied by a severe and sudden shortness of breath could be indicative of some other problem, so do take your doctor’s advice. Fatigue that is accompanied by sudden gasping, weakness, or fainting spells would need immediate medical attention.

If you still feel exhausted during the rest of your pregnancy, talk to your doctor, some may experience prenatal depression. Feeling fatigued is not harmful to your baby so be assured about it. Prenatal care is a huge must, so be regular with your appointments with the doctor. But whenever possible, try and get enough rest, after the little one comes, you will have a lot of those sleepless nights.

Read Also: Feeling Short Of Breath (Breathlessness) During Pregnancy


1. How Long Does Fatigue Last In Pregnancy?

During the first three months of pregnancy, women feel very tired. It usually eases down in the second trimester. Even though tiredness often comes back in the third trimester because of the lack of sleep, and more aches and pains, this too will go away with time.

2. When Do You Start Feeling Fatigue In Pregnancy?

The first 12 weeks of pregnancy are the most exhausting, and it’s normal to feel fatigued or even drained during this time. Feeling exhausted, queasy, and overly emotional are all symptoms of the hormonal shifts that occur around this time.

3. How Can I Boost My Energy While Pregnant?

Try to consume complex carbs, such as whole-grain brown rice, bread, and vegetables. These can provide energy and helps you stay active during pregnancy. They can also help prevent sugar crashes that lead to exhaustion during pregnancy.

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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