Pregnancy and Exhaustion: Best Ways to Cope

If you are in your first trimester of pregnancy, or closing in on the end, chances are pretty good that you're exhausted. Exhausted, fatigued, tired----call it whatever you want. If eight o'clock is a late night for you, and you're finding it hard to complete your usual tasks, you're not alone. Here are some ways to cope with your pregnancy-induced fatigue:

Go Easy On Yourself

This is the best tip I can give any pregnant woman, especially in the first trimester. Think about what your body is doing right now: it's creating the placenta, which is your growing baby's source of nourishment, vitamins, and fluids. At the same time, that little person inside you is developing all of its major systems: the circulatory, digestive, and respiratory systems all form during the first trimester. That takes a lot of energy! Even when you're laying down, your body is working harder than most people's do when they exercise! You're bound to feel tired, and you have every reason in the world to feel tired. Don't fight it, don't feel upset that normal day-to-day tasks that you used to zip through now seem impossible. It's pregnancy. Your body has more important things to do than vacuum!

Rest When You Need To

I know, I know. We are so busy that we barely have time to breathe, and I'm telling you to lie down. I'll go one further and tell you to lay down and take a nap. You need more sleep than non-pregnant people. Your body is working hard, and it needs more frequent rejuvenation. True rejuvenation happens when we sleep. It's that simple. Make time to do this one thing, and you'll find the rest of your day a lot easier to deal with, I promise!

Make Sure You're Eating Right

If you're not praying to the porcelain god, chances are you may be ravenous and dealing with cravings. Sometimes, it's both. While the carton of Cherry Garcia may make you feel better right this second, it doesn't have enough nutrients in to sustain your energy level. Making sure that you are eating high quality dairy and proteins, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables will make a big difference in your energy level. Another thing to remember: drink plenty of water.Your body and your baby need lots of fluids right now, and a nice, cool glass of water is always a good pick-me-up.

Get Some Exercise

No, don't go out and run a four minute mile right now. Do some steady, mild exercise, such as walking, riding a stationary bike, or a little prenatal yoga. Gettting your heart pumping a little will give you a bit of a boost. As an added bonus, it will keep your weight gain in check, ward off complications such as high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, and make it easier to get back in shape after your baby arrives.

I hope these suggestions help you deal with the fatigue of pregnancy. Here comes my disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I'm just a mom who has been through this a few times, and I've tried a few things that have worked for me. Good luck!

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Comments 14 comments

milenaamr profile image

milenaamr 6 years ago

Very useful hub. My personal experience is that every pregnancy is different. I was very lucky the first trimester. Didn't even feel that I am pregnant but then the last few months where difficult.Labor was easier with pain relief. My pregnancy zoomed but I tried to enjoy every bit of it. Thanks for the hub.


lanay77 profile image

lanay77 5 years ago from New Orleans

Great advice especially about giving yourself a break. I found the first trimester very difficult due to exhaustion and lack of appetite. I had to force myself to eat with small meals throughout the day. It was tough though I never got ill.

Now, in the middle of my second trimester, everything is easier. We'll see how the third tri treats me but I'm very optimistic.


Serena 5 years ago

I am 33 weeks and completely exhausted, it's lunch time and already I am eady to go to bed. I need to stay awake for meetings this afty! Roll on maternity leave!


Clare 5 years ago

this article is very helpful. Preventing exhaustion during pregnancy is little like telling a newborn baby that he has to sleep though the night. Getting enough during pregnancy is not always an easy thing to do.


shawnie 5 years ago

I am forty one years old and 12 weeks this is my fifth child and i ever remember being this tired. Although I don't work outside the home by 12pm I am completely exhausted I cant even talk. I try and take a nap if my son lets me but then I cant get to sleep at night until 1 or 2 am any suggestions?


alexis 5 years ago

Thank you this was so helpful. I have never been pregnant before and I was lost in the whole situation.


tectonic profile image

tectonic 5 years ago from Singapore

Insightful hubpage that you have presented.

Nicely done


Vanessa 5 years ago

Thank you, I am 10 weeks along and was feeling a it demoralised by my lack of energy and the ongoing morning sickness. Nice to know its normal...


babymama 5 years ago

I was feeling a little down in the dumps but reading this has made me feel a lot better. It's not all in my head and i can't carry on as normal. It's helped me to realise that it's ok to rest!


Jo 5 years ago

I'm out of the country on business and the food choices are terrible, and I can't get more than 6 hours of sleep a day due to my working hours. I'm not doing any heavy lifting etc. but I'm def very stressed out. I have 2 more weeks on location before I go home but I'm terrified that I'm going to have a miscarriage due to lack of sleep, diet, and stress. I try to workout every other night (nothing crazy) and I go for a short walk every day but I'm still paranoid. Can someone please give me some advice??? I can use all that I can get.

Thanks :)


Kate 5 years ago

Jo, I feel for you and it sounds like you need to try to rest at every opportunity (which I am sure you are trying to do) and maybe try positive visualisation - maybe imagine you are back home resting. Good luck and I hope you find a way to relax/rest more and refuse any corporate evenings out if you have to do those! I used to have to travel lots in my previous work and have recently wondered how I would ever have coped if pregnant. I am now 14 wks pregnant and if I work (part-time) or go out I get so exhausted that I have to sleep for at least half of the next day. I am not anaemic - just been tested, so just hoping it gets better.


lulu 4 years ago

This is my second pregnancy and I am only 7 weeks so pretty early. However, I dont EVER remember being this tired. My job can be pretty mentally demanding and the other day I just wanted to burst out crying and say I cant do this. I am gettign over whelmed quite easily, irratable like one couldnt imagine and I am frequently crying. So I guess it sounds like Im doing alright lol


OhSoTired 4 years ago

I'm 7wks in and have never been as exhausted or nauseous in earlier pregnancies. It's so challenging eating a balanced diet when you move between nausea, fullness & cravings but I always choose a healthy option. But despite this I feel like I need to just sleep 24/7 until this passes. I joke that I might be carrying twins to forgive myself for being so tired at only 7wks! I do hope this passes :-)


kitkat1stbaby 4 years ago

I hear ya...i've never felt this pooy!! I work nights looking after disabled children and just can't do it...it makes me feel so so much worse than i imagined it would. Just smells keep me wretching and throwing up all night. I'm not sure what to do with myself and my partner is just useless tho in the real light of day probably not. Dizzyness, breathlessness, pulpatations constant sickness/nausea. Really unsteady on my feet but work aloan at night, which really worries me. Feel like bursting into tears all the time and now i'm well snappy and bloated. Should be 12 weeks now got another scan in a couple of weeks. Starting to wish the time away so the baby gets here quickly. Do you feel like a nag? I personally think that everyones like...gosh your only pregnant...deal with it but i am trying. I'm still in probation at work and really worried their gunna get rid of me tho over 3 months i've had two nights off with fatigue and sickness. I also have to travel for 4 hours every morning after i finish work, to get home...grr!! I'm really not a happy bunny...thanks for letting me rant girls! xx

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