Tiredness / Fatigue in pregnancy

Although you are told to expect tiredness and fatigue during pregnancy, sometimes it can really start to affect daily life.



  • Feeling less energetic and lacking motivation.
  • Struggling to concentrate.
  • Feeling sleepy earlier than usual (can be soon after waking).


  • Change in hormone levels.
  • Change in blood pressure / blood sugar levels.
  • Disturbed sleep due to pregnancy / new baby.
  • Stress – often associated with pregnancy or looking after a new baby.
  • Changes in diet – cravings, different appetite associated with pregnancy.


Here is what the evidence says about the treatment options:


Exerciseevidence suggests that regular exercise, lasting more than eight weeks, may be beneficial during pregnancy and for reducing postpartum fatigue. The type of exercise doesn’t necessarily matter as long as it is regular. Two types of exercise we highly recommend during pregnancy are: Yoga and Pilates.


Yoga – Yoga throughout pregnancy has been shown to significantly lower rates of caesarean section, lower maternal weight gain, higher new born infant weight, lower pain and overall discomfort during labour, lower back pain throughout pregnancy and produce an earlier post-partum recovery compared to those who do no exercises.

There are lots of Online Yoga programmes available, have a look at our Top 5 here (and why we love them)!  You can also read our blog on how yoga can help in other ways.



Pilatesevidence has shown that doing Pilates based exercises can have a positive impact ion fatigue in pregnancy. THIS clinical trial found that physical exercise can significantly reduce postpartum maternal fatigue in all subscales.

Have a look at our Top 5 online Pilates programmes here.



Acupuncture – there is evidence to suggest that acupuncture could help with fatigue, although studies are limited and of low quality. You will need to speak to your local Physiotherapy clinic and book in with an AACP registered Physiotherapist if you would like to try this form of treatment.


What symptoms to watch out for if you are experiencing fatigue:

Please speak to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of the following, alongside your fatigue; (these might be signs of depression or other mental health issues that need addressing early, according to NHS)
  • continuous low mood or sadness
  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • having low self-esteem
  • feeling tearful
  • feeling guilt-ridden
  • feeling irritable and intolerant of others
  • having no motivation or interest in things
  • finding it difficult to make decisions
  • not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • feeling anxious or worried
  • having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
  • moving or speaking more slowly than usual
  • changes in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased)


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Please Note:
Although the posts on this site are written by fully qualified Physiotherapists, the advice is of a generalist nature and could not take into account the particular physical or medical condition of individual audience members. The information given is meant to be practical and informative but is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. The information available is not meant to replace any relationship that exists between an audience member and their GP, hospital specialist or other healthcare professional. If you are after individual advice or you are concerned about any of your symptoms you must consult your own therapist or healthcare provider.

About The Author

Abigail Taylor qualified as a Physiotherapist in 2005. She has a special interest in Women’s health Physiotherapy and research. Abigail is the founder of ‘Pain in the Bump’ which she developed whilst on her maternity leave with her second baby.