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Paula Kashtan

Fatigue During Pregnancy

Need a nap — stat?! We can relate. Find out why you're so tired during pregnancy and what you can do about it.

What is fatigue during pregnancy?

You’re so tired you can barely keep your head off your desk at work.

What could be causing my fatigue during pregnancy?

Being tired all the time is pretty normal during pregnancy— especially during early and late pregnancy, when your hormones are working overtime to make all the changes your body (and baby’s) needs. You might also be having trouble sleeping because you need to get up to pee during the night, or have heartburn or leg cramps that are keeping you up (if so, you should concentrate on working on those problems so you can get some extra rest).

In rarer cases, fatigue could be caused by health problems such as anemia, depression, hypothyroidism or toxoplasmosis.

When should I go to the doctor with my fatigue during pregnancy?

If your fatigue comes on all of the sudden, if it doesn’t get better with rest or if you’re feeling very stressed or depressed, you should pay your doctor a visit.

What should I do to treat my fatigue during pregnancy?

It does seem cruel that most moms-to-be feel the worst during the first 12 weeks or so. Until you announce the good news, there's no milking it for (well-deserved) sympathy. The only real cure for first trimester fatigue is sleeping more...which, to be honest, might not even help. Since you probably can’t take catnaps in your office and still remain employed, simply go to bed earlier, sleep as late as possible and try to make it through the day.

To boost energy, eat small, healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. Go for protein and complex carb combos like whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, a piece of cheese on whole-grain crackers or a couple slices of turkey on whole-wheat bread. And when you feel yourself sinking into a valley, do some stretches and deep-breathing exercises, or go for a brisk walk around the block.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Dizziness During Pregnancy

Anemia During Pregnancy

Heartburn During Pregnancy