Pregnancy discomforts
You are looking at: Home : Pregnancy discomforts

Tiredness in Early Pregnancy

Even before you have had your pregnancy confirmed you might feel very tired, but will this fatigue last for nine months?

Posted: 23 March 2011
by Laura Lee Davies

Woman sleeping
Expect to feel more tired from as early as four weeks pregnant

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?

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 particuarly 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!

For some useful tips, try our five easy ways to boost energy in pregnancy and tricks to get a good night’s sleep.



Previous article
Aprica Cookie Pushchair
Next article
Fairtrade Fortnight beats the crunch

early, pregnancy, pregnant, fatigue, tired, sleep, trouble sleeping, pregnancy symptom, tiredness, sleepiness, exhaustion, knackered

Discuss this story

Im now 7 weeks pregnant and feeling extremely tired. During the day i will have a nap for a couple of hours and not have an issue falling asleep, but when its bed time, im feeling tired and comfortable in bed but still not able to sleep. Ive tried watching some tv, listening to music and making sure im not having cafeine but still no result. I can only seem to fall asleep at 6am when my partner is waking up. Is this normal? I dont remember being like this with my first pregnancy.pregnancy.

Posted: 20/08/2010 at 20:20

I'm 8 weeks pregnant and the tiredness is unreal. I am leaving work early so I can sleep in the afternoons, I don't remember my first 2 being like this!!

Posted: 11/09/2012 at 14:24

I am only around 4 weeks with my first and only just found out im expecting but have been tierd for the last week and now as soon as I get home from work (around 4pm) I find myself just wanting to go to bed. I'm exhausted.

Posted: 12/09/2012 at 21:25

Talkback: Tiredness in Early Pregnancy

First Name:
Last Name:
Security Image:
Enter the code shown:

I agree to the site's Terms and Conditions & Code of Conduct:

Sign me up!
Share your photos with other ThinkBaby mum...
What is the MadeForMums network?

Tell me about...
Practical Parenting