Fatigue smThat positive pregnancy test was just a few weeks ago and already you’re worn out, or maybe you made it through the days of morning sickness only to find that you’re still exhausted. What’s a mother-to-be to do?

Fatigue is a common part of pregnancy as your body adapts to all the hormonal and physical changes that are underway, but you don’t have to settle for nine months of utter exhaustion.

It might go without saying, but let’s say it anyway – you need to get more rest. Try going to bed earlier and grab a quick nap whenever you can. Just 15 minutes dozing in a quiet room during lunch can give you more energy to make it through the day.

Getting more exercise can also make you feel less fatigued during the day and may help you sleep better at night. Check with your doctor about what’s best for you and aim for 20 to 30 minutes of moderate activity each day, such as walking, pregnancy yoga or swimming.

What you’re eating can also affect your energy level. Try to eat more iron-rich foods like leafy green vegetables and fuel up with protein from eggs and beans. Whole grain breads, cereals and brown rice with more fiber can help you feel full longer and may prevent constipation.

Drink plenty of water but avoid beverages with sugar or caffeine that can lead to energy spikes and crashes that will make you feel even worse. Coffee and tea can also prevent your body from absorbing iron, and iron deficiency can cause fatigue.

Lighten your load as best as you can. Ask about special accommodations or fewer hours at your job and enlist friends, family and your spouse to help with household chores or watch your other children while you rest. And take a pass on any social commitments that you can skip until after your baby is born.

You can expect a break from the worst of your fatigue once you reach your second trimester, but the last few months of pregnancy will see it return when you’re carrying more weight and getting less sleep. The good news is the same strategies that help you cope with fatigue during pregnancy will serve you well once your baby arrives and life gets busy in a whole new way.


Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax