Feeling tired in the early weeks of pregnancy


One of the least expected early signs of pregnancy is extreme tiredness!

Women often miss fatigue as a symptom because, with our busy modern lifestyles, it's easy to think that your tiredness is caused by work, burning the candle at both ends or even exhaustion from the emotional (and physical) demands of trying to conceive. Tiredness can kick in as early as the first four weeks of pregnancy, often before you have even thought about doing a home pregnancy test.

Women who never usually need naps during the day may suddenly find they are dozing off in the afternoon or getting home from work feeling shattered by the early evening. If exhaustion during your 9 to 5 is causing you problems, don't miss these foolproof ways to stave off pregnancy tiredness at work.

Why does fatigue happen?

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The reason that you feel so tired early in pregnancy is though to be the extreme changes your body is suddenly going through. Pregnancy hormones are flooding your bloodstream and your body is rapidly adjusting to cope with new demands such as developing your baby's food supply in the womb and becoming more flexible to allow for the growth of your bump and birth. These hormonal changes can affect how you feel day-to-day and are responsible for other irritations such as morning sickness.

The first 13 weeks – or first trimester – of your pregnancy, is when your womb is developing to carry your baby. It is also when the biggest developmental changes are happening for your baby to grow from a ball of cells into a foetus. So it’s understandable that this is when your body will be working hardest to cope with these internal changes. Because of all these changes to your body your legs will get particularly tired during pregnancy. Here's how to soothe tired pregnancy legs.

How long will pregnancy tiredness last?

Thankfully, this tiredness generally only lasts for the first six to ten weeks or so, and is likely to pass completely by the end of the first trimester (by 12 to 14 weeks). After this you may feel a little tired due to carrying around your growing bump or because you occasionally have trouble sleeping, but the need to have a nap during the day or feeling distractingly tired is likely to pass after the first weeks of pregnancy.

Tips for coping with pregnancy tiredness

It’s all well and good understanding why you’re tired, but if you’re working full time and still trying to keep your news quiet until your first scan, then feeling zonked all the time can be hugely frustrating. If you try to allow for the extra tiredness in the first few weeks by taking naps when you can, going to bed a little earlier and avoiding too many demanding evenings out. If you can, try not to fight the fatigue and you’ll get through this phase fairly easily.

Instead of notching it up as a discomfort of pregnancy, listen to your body and see this as a sign that over the next few months, nature is going to be giving you these powerful reminders that you need to be good to yourself and take it easy!


Read more about early pregnancy on our pregnancy listings page.