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Home / Pregnant / Common concerns / Fatigue during pregnancy

Fatigue during pregnancy

You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs and you can’t be pregnant without feeling tired at some point. Follow our nutrition and lifestyle advice and put pregnancy fatigue to bed.

While pregnancy is a wonderful, amazing experience, it’s also sometimes tiring. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms, particularly in the 1st and 3rd trimesters, and while nothing can 100% zap fatigue, fueling your body with the right nutrients can help you get the energy boost that you need.

Why are you so tired?

If you have concerns about ongoing pregnancy fatigue, talk to your doctor to rule out anemia or other possible causes. Once these have been eliminated, think about the fact that your body is working hard to support a new life and adapt to the physical changes that come with the development of a baby. See? Feeling tired is a good thing. It means your body is taking care of your baby. So if increased progesterone, lower blood sugar levels, and lower blood pressure sap your energy, give yourself a pat on the back. Your baby is getting bigger.

Keys to fighting pregnancy fatigue

When fatigue strikes, try these tips to help reduce symptoms.

Choose nutrient- and protein-rich foods like low-fat milk, yogurt, beans, chicken breast, or peanut butter. Always skip the quick fix, like donuts, candy, or sugary drinks (we know, they are really tempting aren’t they?). They might do the trick in the short term, but eventually they will leave you feeling more tired than before. Energy drinks should be thought of as dietary supplements and might not be safe for your baby. Check with your doctor before using these types of products.

Eat every four hours if you can, beginning with a balanced breakfast. Try to include at least one whole grain product and one fruit or vegetable with each mini-meal or snack.

Vitamins and minerals (especially iron) are important too. Get as much as you can from iron-rich and nutrient-dense foods, and make sure to take your prenatal supplements as directed by your doctor.

Limit caffeine (sorry espresso fans!). The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends no more than 300 mg of caffeine (or about two 8-ounce cups of coffee) a day while pregnant. Oh, and tea and sodas count, too.

Exercising regularly (with your doctor’s guidance) can also be what you need to help you get that boost of energy to make it through the day.

Water, water, water. Drink at least ten 8-ounce glasses of water or other fluids daily.

Now here’s a big one: listen to your body and get the rest you need. It sounds simple, but it can be easy to forget during this busy time.

Follow this advice and you can hope to look forward to a pregnancy where fatigue won’t become a major drag.


Public Health Agency of Canada. Healthy Pregnancy - Caffeine and Pregnancy. 2014. Accessed March 2017.

American Pregnancy Association. Fatigue During Pregnancy. 2015. Accessed March 2017.