Tiredness in early pregnancy

Tiredness in early pregnancy

Tiredness is something we’ve all experienced. Sometimes the day drags, you can’t stop yawning at work and you know you need an early night. What you may not have encountered before now is the extreme, bone-crushing tiredness only felt in early pregnancy. The kind where you Can’t. Keep. Your. Eyes. Open. For. One. More. Second.

If you’re pregnant and have found yourself desperately wondering if it’s bedtime yet - at 3 pm - we understand. Being this tired is exhausting, no pun intended.

...But why do you feel so tired in early pregnancy?

Extreme tiredness in the first trimester is very common, and it’s one of the first pregnancy symptoms many people report. So rest assured, having no energy in early pregnancy and fighting not to fall asleep in a dribbling heap at your desk is actually completely normal. Even if it isn’t the easiest thing to manage.

Rapid hormone changes are, in the main part, responsible for tiredness in early pregnancy. Even though things may not have changed on the outside yet, your body is going through a major transformation and these changes can leave you feeling out of whack -- and utterly whacked out.  

Coping with pregnancy tiredness and fatigue

Sadly, there’s no cure for pregnancy tiredness and no quick way to stop the feeling of exhaustion that makes napping anywhere from the bus to a pile of broken bricks a deliciously appealing thought. 

Pregnancy fatigue can feel like a force as big as life has taken you over, zapping your energy and leaving you tired and bleary-eyed even after a full night of sleep. And in a way, that’s exactly what has happened, as your body changes to accommodate and nourish your baby. It may only be the size of a dot, but he or she is already taking charge!

One of the toughest things about pregnancy fatigue in the first trimester is that a lot of people probably won’t know your baby news yet. This can make it harder to explain your new state and, of course, you probably don’t have the energy to cover it up very well! Add in potential nausea and sickness, and early pregnancy might sometimes feel like a bit of an uphill struggle. 

Some things you can do to help:

  • Go to bed as early as you can. Box sets, late nights and basically everything non-essential can wait.
  • Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling and ways they can help, for example taking on extra chores at home so that you can rest more.
  • Take regular breaks at work, even just for 60 seconds to stretch your legs, as you’re more likely to struggle with tiredness when concentrating on one thing for long periods of time.
  • Make things as easy as you can for yourself to allow more time to rest. Yes, that does mean less cooking and housework. Yippee.

How long does tiredness last in early pregnancy?

Pregnancy tiredness usually eases after the first 12 weeks, as hormone production slows and your body adjusts to being pregnant. 

While there’s no magic cure for pregnancy tiredness in the first trimester, resting more will help, so be sure to make looking after yourself your number one priority at this time. Your body is doing amazing things, so take pride and remember you’ve more than earned that nap!

And the good news is that many mums-to-be find they are actually extra-energetic in the second trimester, with pregnancy making them feel better than ever. Now that’s something worth keeping your eyes open for!

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