pregnant woman napping

Fatigue and exhaustion when pregnant

Because of the great strain placed upon your body during pregnancy, many people experience fatigue and exhaustion, generally during the first and then third trimesters. Hormones and sustaining the growing baby inside of you are generally the main culprits.

What causes it?

The first trimester can be exhausting — your body is working in overdrive producing the placenta, which will serve as your baby’s lifeline throughout your pregnancy. Your hormones are also coursing through your body, so this fluctuation could also be responsible for the fatigue. By the third trimester, your exhaustion is caused by the physical strain and problems that arise by carrying around added weight, and finding a comfortable position to sleep in.


Getting proper rest, maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet, and exercise if you can are great ways to help combat fatigue. If you think the fatigue is unusual, your healthcare provider should be able to address your concerns.

Reviewed by Dr. Jamie Lo
Read more
  • Sir John Dewhurst. Dewhurst’s Textbook of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 8th ed. Keith Edmonds. John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2012. Print.
  • MS Kramer, R Kakuma. “Energy and protein intake in pregnancy.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (4):CD000032. Web. 2003.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “First trimester pregnancy: what to expect.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 4/22/2014. Web.

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