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Early pregnancy

Tiredness and fatigue in pregnancy

It is common to feel tired during pregnancy. Particularly in the first trimester (0 to 13 weeks) and the last trimester (week 27 to birth). Being pregnant can be hard work, and you may be using lots of energy without even realising it.

It can be worrying to feel so tired. It is important to try and rest when you can when you are pregnant.

Accept any offers of help, especially if you have other children.

Causes of tiredness

It can be frustrating when you have had a good night's sleep and you wake up with no energy. It can be very hard to balance the tiredness you are feeling with working and life outside of work.

Causes of tiredness in early pregnancy may be:

  • hormonal changes, due to increased levels of the hormone progesterone
  • emotional changes - anxiety is common in early stages and will usually pass as the weeks go by

Related topic

What to expect in the first trimester

Nausea and vomiting

These are common symptoms in early pregnancy. They can leave you feeling exhausted, particularly if your sleep is disturbed by them.

Related topic

Morning sickness - nausea and vomiting during pregnancy

Changes to your circulation and metabolism

As your body adjusts to being pregnant, it will produce more blood, and your blood pressure may drop. Your blood sugar may also be lower. These changes can make you feel more tired.

Coping with tiredness of early pregnancy

This tiredness is normal. It will pass.

Eating a healthy diet may help your energy levels. You may find that gentle exercise makes you feel good and you will have more energy.

If your feelings of anxiety are prevailing over your daily life, talk to a support person. If these feelings persist, make an appointment with your GP.

Usually, by the second trimester (weeks 14 to 26), your energy will return. Until then, rest when you can. Try to do your daily tasks in order of priority rather than trying to do everything.

Related topic

Healthy eating during pregnancy

When to get medical advice

Contact your GP or midwife if you feel tired and have any of the following symptoms: feeling dizzy, feeling breathless, chest pain, heart palpitations.

If you have high levels of anxiety, or if your mood is low, you may need extra support. Talk to your GP, midwife or obstetrician if these feelings persist.

page last reviewed: 15/03/2018
next review due: 15/03/2021