Tips For Handling Exhaustion Associated With Pregnancy

When you're expecting, a certain level of fatigue is also to be inferred. And while you might have that pregnancy glow, growing an entire human being takes a massive amount of energy. Not to mention, being tired is a good sign your body is doing what it should be — to a degree. While extreme exhaustion beyond the first trimester could indicate something wrong and should be discussed with your midwife or doctor, it can also simply be a sign that some changes in your daily routine are needed (via Motherly).


"Fatigue is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms, right up there with nausea," said Dr. Clara Paik, vice-chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology and chief of the division of gynecologic specialties at the University of California-Davis, in an interview with SELF. "Your blood volume is increasing, your placenta is forming, you're growing a baby, and that takes a lot of work and energy. That hormone, in particular, can make a person sleepy."

So, here's how you can help prevent that fatigue from bogging you down.

Sleeping and napping

While it may be difficult to find a comfortable position as your belly grows, investing in a pregnancy pillow and getting as cozy as possible to ensure you get ample sleep is crucial to your overall well-being while carrying. In particular, pregnant women need about an additional one or two hours of sleep per night. So, aim for roughly eight to 10 hours (via Motherly). 


And, if you can find 30 minutes to nap during the day when your body asks for it, try to make it happen. A quick and restful mid-day nap can really reset and recharge your body to make it through to bedtime. If white noise, sleeping masks, or essential oils (pregnancy safe, of course) help you fall into a deep slumber, then be sure to utilize these tools as well.

Eating a healthy diet

It's no secret our diet directly impacts our mood and energy levels — and this is definitely the case during pregnancy. While some say to listen to your pregnancy cravings and give that baby what he or she is asking for, be sure to also include a lot of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables in your diet (via Parents). Avoiding overly-processed, sugary foods will also combat energy crashes.


Additionally, be sure to nourish both your and your baby's body. "Sometimes it's hard to do that early on, because you're combating nausea and vomiting and can only tolerate what you can tolerate," said Dr. Angela Bianco, director of maternal-fetal medicine at the Mount Sinai Health System and professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in an interview with SELF.

Cutting the caffeine

This is likely a tough one for many mothers-to-be — extra fatigue and no caffeine? It almost seems cruel, especially if you already have a toddler running around to keep up with. But if you're already having difficulty sleeping through the night, stimulants like caffeine could just be adding to the problem. Per Parents, if you miss the ritual of a cup of coffee in the morning, try substituting for decaf or herbal tea. And remember, it's not forever.


Doing light exercises

Movement, as difficult as it might sound on those particularly challenging days, can actually give you the necessary boost you might be looking for. If your midwife or doctor has given you the go-ahead, try some gentle exercise or sign up for a prenatal yoga class (via Motherly). Swimming or walking are also wonderful forms of exercise for pregnant women.


Again, if you already have little ones and getting out of the house for a class sounds exhausting on its own, try a virtual prenatal exercise course instead. "Even though you may not feel like exercising because you're tired, there's some renewal of energy with exercise — you just kind of feel more refreshed," Paik said, in the interview with SELF. "Sometimes that helps you sleep better at night as well."

Finding a support circle

Lastly, emotional and spiritual support, as well as connection, will, naturally, help any pregnant mother destress. Mothers tend to try and do it all alone, but turning to friends, family, and groups can greatly ease anxiety (via Motherly). Reaching out for help with household duties and childcare if you already have children will also reduce exhaustion levels, which we know is key for a healthy mom and baby. Sometimes, simply knowing other pregnant mothers are just as tired as you are can be the reassurance you need.