Dealing with fatigue during your pregnancy

Feeling tired and hotter than usual is quite common during pregnancy. Many pregnant women also feel faint and this is due to hormonal changes.

Faintness

Pregnant women often feel faint. This is because of hormonal changes occurring in your body during pregnancy. Fainting happens if your brain is not getting enough blood and therefore not enough oxygen. If your oxygen levels get too low, it may cause you to faint. You are most likely to feel faint if you stand too quickly from a chair, off the toilet or out of a bath, but it can also happen when you are lying on your back.

Here are some tips to help you cope:

  • Try to get up slowly after sitting or lying down.
  • If you feel faint when standing still, find a seat quickly and the faintness should pass — if it doesn’t, lie down on your side.
  • If you feel faint while lying on your back, turn on your side (it’s better not to lie flat on your back in later pregnancy or during labour).
  • If the weather is hot, drink plenty of water.

Feeling hot

During pregnancy you’re likely to feel warmer than normal. This is due to hormonal changes and an increase in blood supply to the skin. You’re also likely to sweat more. It helps if you:

  • Wear loose clothing made of natural fibres, as these are more absorbent and breathe more than synthetic fibres.
  • Keep your room cool — you could use an electric fan to cool it down.
  • Wash frequently to help you feel fresh.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Tiredness and sleep

It’s common to feel tired, or even exhausted, during pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks or so. Hormonal changes taking place in your body at this time can make you feel tired, nauseous and emotional. The only answer is to try to rest as much as possible. Make time to sit with your feet up during the day, and accept any offers of help from colleagues and family. Being tired and run-down can make you feel low. Try to look after your physical health by eating a healthy diet and get plenty of rest and sleep.

Later in pregnancy, you may feel tired because of the extra weight you are carrying. Make sure you get plenty of rest. As your baby gets bigger, it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep. You might find it uncomfortable lying down or, just when you get comfortable, you have to get up to go to the toilet.

Feeling tired won’t harm you or your baby, but it can make life feel more difficult, especially in the early days before you’ve told people about your pregnancy. Make sure you get as much rest as you can.