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Fatigue & Sleepiness During Pregnancy

Fatigue and sleepiness are very common effects of a pregnancy. The following information can help you understand these conditions and how best to deal with them.


Fatigue usually occurs in the first trimester although many women also experience this late in pregnancy when they tire easily as a result of the added weight. A specific cause for the first trimester fatigue is unknown, but it may be caused by a fall in metabolism in early pregnancy. Remember that fatigue is normal and usually temporary.

Remedies are mostly supportive and include:

  • Take frequent rest periods; at least one time lying down daily if possible
  • Do mild exercise; daily exercise will condition your body and improve circulation
  • Consume adequate, nutritious meals

Difficulty Sleeping

Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) in pregnancy is most common in the last trimester and is related to increased discomfort of the enlarged uterus, other pregnancy discomforts, and fetal movement. It can also be caused by other factors including anxiety and anticipation of events.

Relief measures include:

  • Take warm baths
  • Drink warm fluids or milk before going to bed
  • Engage in non-stimulating activity before going to bed
  • Use relaxation positions
  • Use progressive relaxation techniques which may include audiotapes, music, or meditation
  • Avoid sleep medications if possible in pregnancy. Contact your health care provider before taking any sleep remedies
  • Avoid eating immediately before sleep

If you have any questions or would like more information, please call our Women's Center at 605-322-3444.

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