Counting Sheep: When Does Tiredness in Pregnancy Begin?

As any woman who has been pregnant knows, the exhaustion that comes with growing a tiny human can be overwhelming. The very unscientific term for it is 'pregnancy fatigue'. Here's what you need to know about when you might start feeling extra sleepy during pregnancy.

Counting Sheep: When Does Tiredness in Pregnancy Begin?

First Trimester

During weeks 1-12 of gestation, your body is going through some amazing changes to make room for baby. Unfortunately, those changes also include significant hormonal fluctuations that can wreak havoc on your energy levels. This early period of pregnancy may leave you wondering why all construction noise in a five-block radius suddenly became intolerable without your morning coffee.


  • Overwhelming sense of tiredness
  • Morning sickness
  • Falling asleep without warning
  • Aversion to strong smells or loud noises

Second Trimester

By the time you reach weeks 13-27, hopefully, most women report experiencing less fatigue than they did earlier in their first trimesters because their bodies are getting used to producing more blood as well as keeping up with the growth and development happening inside them. Now it's normal for pregnant women not just look like unique individuals but feel different from one another too throughout this phase...whereas Tiffany at work next week sounds full energized and other coworkers are struggling with migraines.


  • More energetic compared to the first trimester
  • Less morning sickness
  • Increased sex drive
  • Backaches begin due to weight gain

Third Trimester

The final stretch! Yay! Or..not? While we're excitedly waiting on the arrival of our new family member(s), by week 28 until delivery, symptoms like back pain and deep frustration kick into high gear again!. Pregnant folks may find themselves required lifting objects such as chucky toys or just getting up from bed could be noteworthy occasions. But we prefer to keep it funny by thinking about since our bellies are acting like huge bowling balls in addition being a droopy sack of potatoes.


  • Lack of sleep (especially during the last month)
  • Shortness of breath as baby crowds lung space
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty eating thanks to heartburn ref; burp/rocage

The Science

Everybody is different but one thing pregnancy teaches us for sure is that a mother’s body goes through many changes:

  1. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG - production increases and can cause feelings of exhaustion.
  2. Progesterone - levels increase, making women feel drowsy and tired with increased frequency.
  3. Iron deficiency / Anemia- common, especially during the second trimester which can exacerbate fatigue symptoms
  4. Blood sugar fluctuations - proper nutrition matters here folks!

Takeaway message? Listen to your wonderful bodies!

Tips For Managing Pregnancy Tiredness

Once you get comfortable with listening to your body enough then only success comes in any manner! During this time, while caffeine won't fix everything, there are some techniques you may find helpful:

1.Sleep Like It's Going Out Of Style:

Sleeping well at night will help make up for extra efforts needed throughout daytime activities just by planning ahead with catching Zzzs when possible...even if they're not long ones

2.Energy Boosts:

Eating protein rich meals makes sense whether you’re an athlete in training or preparing to carry another human inside you for months on end.One meal variation I enjoy sometimes includes an oatmeal smoothie,involving complete kitchen mess disaster early mornings.

3.Partner In Crime

Asking someone close for support (Partner,hubby,mommy etc.) always helps too.You might feel guilty to ask for help but it’s necessary, especially if you have other children around. If work is overwhelming and causing stress / fatigue maybe consider talking with HR department or a phone call with your medical health professional.

4.Pencil Some Fun Time

Ideally schedule in some “me-time”(whatever that looks like) throughout each week; trying a new podcast,a good book,revisiting old hobbies etc...most of the outlets don’t really matter as long as they either result in helping reduce stressed emotions OR helps boost some energy levels when feeling down

When To Contact Your Healthcare Provider

While pregnant women commonly experience tiredness during pregnancy, there are certain times where fatigue can be an indication of something more serious:

  • Very low energy levels
  • Increasing exhaustion/stress/frustrations any time after birth
  • Abnormal weight gain/loss
  • Unusual sleepiness/more napping than usual/unable to stay awake...,if baby isn't here yet stay aware!

In Conclusion

Pregnancy represents its own unique set of physical demands on our bodies.Fatigue must come inevitably through all milestones which we get the privilege to pass through. As humans creating another life within ourselves we need rest plus compassion for ourselves and partners when possible.Some parting thoughts:+
Do what feels right for your body: Whether it's taking extra time off work or grabbing sushi delivery/cleaning up that one single corner-a proper self care practice goes a far way!+ Learn how to say no : It’s important not only in pregnancy but also once baby arrives.+
The best tip will always be trusting yourself!: Even if maternity/nursing period lasts several years eventually every high level moment results towards motherhood journey shaping who person is..embracing it all beautiful moments along-way.

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