Lack of energy

Lack of energy

It's common to feel tired (or even exhausted!) during pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks. Hormonal changes at this time can make you feel tired and emotional, so try to rest as much as possible. Make time to sit with your feet up during the day, and accept any offers of help from colleagues and family.

Feeling tired won't harm you or your baby, but it can make life feel more difficult, especially in the early days before you've told people about your pregnancy. Being tired and run down can make you feel low, so try to look after your physical health – eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest and sleep (see below).

Later on in pregnancy, you may feel tired because of the extra weight you are carrying. As your bump gets bigger, it can be difficult to get a good night's sleep. You might find it uncomfortable lying down or, just when you get comfortable, you have to get up to go to the loo.

If you aren't sleeping

Try not to let it bother you, and don't worry that it will harm your baby – it won't. If you can, nap during the day and get some early nights in when you can.

Try to relax before bedtime so that you're not too wide awake, and avoid tea, coffee or cola drinks in the evening as the caffeine can make it harder to switch off. Your antenatal classes may teach you relaxation techniques that you could try, or you could borrow a relaxation CD or DVD from your library.

You could also join an antenatal yoga or pilates class. Oddly, exercise can help you to feel more energetic, even if you're feeling tired during the day, so try to get some physical activity, such as a walk at lunchtime or going swimming.

Antenatal depression

Occasionally, sleeplessness – when accompanied by other symptoms – can be a sign of depression. If you have any of the other symptoms of depression, such as feeling hopeless and losing interest in the things you used to enjoy, have a look at our section about feeling down, or speak to your doctor or midwife.