Doulas Northwest | Pregnancy: How To Manage The Fatigue
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30 Jan Pregnancy: How To Manage The Fatigue


For most of us, pregnancy brings on a whole new kind of tired that we haven’t experienced before. One that seems impossible to get in front of, and can leave us feeling out of control long before there is a baby to take care of at home. 


Though you will be told that being extra tired is a normal symptom of pregnancy, that doesn’t mean you have to like it. There are very good reasons why you are tired, and no denying the extra physical demands on your body while it’s working hard to grow a whole new human.


If you are like me, you’ll be interested in what you can do about it! So, I am sharing some strategies on managing this fatigue we experience during pregnancy. Some ways to take a little bit of control back, if you’d like to.


1) Recognize. 

Effective management of your fatigue will begin with recognizing when your body needs something different than you’re used to giving it.

Slow down and take note when you are feeling off, or when your normal day’s demands leave you feeling more drained. When you hear your body using it’s “inside voice”, listen. Recognize that “inside voice” talking to you before it becomes an “outside voice”…shouting at you.

Also recognize that the impact on your lifestyle is likely to be less intense if you proactively take action to manage your pregnancy fatigue early on, rather than allowing it to escalate, leaving you with very few options.


2) Strategize your rest. 

When managing pregnancy fatigue, getting the rest we need gets complicated. We have hormone cycles, food cravings, physical changes to our body, muscle & joint discomforts that can all have an effect on when and how sleep happens.

  • Prepare for restful rest and create a wind down routine that works for you, helping ready your mind and body to relax and sleep. Some ideas for you to think about:
    • Lighter meals in the late afternoon & evening, reducing the digestive demands on your system right before sleep. (Always consult with your OB or Midwife about dietary changes during pregnancy)
    • A short walk after your evening meal to clear the mind and encourage your digestion to keep moving.
    • Less mentally demanding work and more ‘checking out’ before bed -ie. watching your favorite show with a glass of relaxing tea, rather than continuing with today’s work that you could be logging into from home.
    • Setting up your perfect bubble bath situation right before bed, relaxing sore muscles and inviting the mind to slow down.
    • All of the pillows. A pregnancy body pillow, or multiple smaller pillows. But enough pillow-age to support your head & neck, your back, underneath your belly, and between your knees. (You will stress your back muscles less, if you keep your knees slightly apart during sleep. You’re welcome. 😉 )


Regardless of what your perfect wind down strategies are, identify them and say yes to prioritizing them. Doing so will be one of the best ways to stay in front of the tide that is pregnancy fatigue.


3) Give yourself extra grace. 

There will be times that you feel frustrated or even limited because of fatigue. When this happens, know that is it is for a physiological reason, not a failing of yours, and that it is ok to not love this part.

Do what you can to support your body’s physical needs (eating enough, drinking enough, taking it slower when you need to, grabbing an afternoon nap when you want to) and then go back to 1), recognizing your body’s “inside voice” about how you’re doing.



Doulas Northwest ~ The Pacific Northwest’s choice for pregnancy, birth, and new parenting support.

Seattle | Tacoma | JBLM | Olympia


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