Feeling tired 24 hours a day is one of the most common side effects of pregnancy. Your body is going into overload to spur the baby's growth: Your ovaries are producing progesterone, which is thought to have a sedative effect, and blood volume is increasing up to 50 percent to supply blood to the fetus.
One hidden culprit for excessive fatigue is anemia. Extra iron is needed to make the baby's blood cells, and if you don't have enough iron, the baby will take what it needs from your body, shortchanging you. Your doctor will give you a blood test during your first prenatal visit to check your iron stores. If you don't have enough, she's likely to prescribe a supplement.
Other things you can do to combat your tiredness:
- Get moving. Even if all you want to do is lie on the couch, take a short walk or just do some light stretching. Twenty minutes a few times a week can give you a lift.
- Take your prenatal vitamin. It will fill the gaps if your appetite for food is at an all-time low, and because it contains iron, it can help stave off anemia.
- Sleep when you can. Go to bed earlier, get up later and nap when you can. If you're working all day, take a 15-minute catnap at your desk.