First trimester fatigue

From nausea to sore breasts, pregnancy comes with a bassinet-load of early pregnancy symptoms. However, there’s one early pregnancy symptom that can further affect your day-to-day—first-trimester fatigue.

Can’t find the energy to finish your Vinyasa flow? Daydreaming of plush pillows and snug sheets? You’re not alone. Extreme fatigue often fogs the first trimester, and while you may enjoy the excuse to order pizza and binge-watch Netflix, it can also take you away from your work, family, and other obligations.

Fortunately, first-trimester fatigue is temporary and very treatable. With our guide, you can continue to crush your day-to-day responsibilities and sail smoothly into your second trimester.

What Is First Trimester Fatigue?

Whether you’re 6 or 66 years old, everyone needs some zzz’s to recharge. However, first-trimester fatigue is a little more extreme than your average end-of-day tiredness or exhaustion.

Once pregnant, once-energetic women can become completely drained of energy. Pregnancy exhaustion can affect day-to-day activities. These pregnancy symptoms can start as soon as one week after conception:1

  • Difficulty getting out of bed
  • Inability to complete small tasks
  • Lack of focus
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Irritability or depression

Why does fatigue happen during the first trimester? As your body prepares itself for a baby, certain physiological changes may leave you feeling less than chipper. For most pregnant women, these include changes include:2

  • Hormonal changes and shifts, especially rising progesterone hormone levels
  • Placenta formation, which requires extra nutrients
  • Increased blood volume and supply, which requires the heart to work harder
  • Morning sickness, which can drain the body of nutrients and hydration
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What Can Treat Pregnancy Fatigue?

First-trimester fatigue can make life feel like a herculean task—you may find yourself plastered to your bed or navigating your day through impenetrable brain fog.

Luckily, small life changes can improve mild and moderate cases of pregnancy-induced extreme fatigue and lethargy.

#1 Move A Little (Or as Much as You Can)

It seems counterintuitive—but moving your body a little can significantly reduce your fatigue.

You may not have it in you to hit the gym after work (and that's ok!), but squeezing in some physical activity is an effective way to boost your energy. If you're struggling to stay awake at your desk, try just ten minutes of these light and safe exercises during pregnancy to relieve your fatigue:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Light pilates
  • Stretching
  • Tai chi

#2 Adjust Your Sleep

When fatigued, sleep becomes your best friend. Prioritizing rest may force you to make some life changes (goodbye late-night movies, hello early snoozing). However, these changes are well worth feeling more refreshed.

During the first trimester, 44.2% of pregnant women experience insomnia.3 Even if you’re fatigued, your body may have a hard time getting consistent and quality sleep—which will only increase your fatigue levels. Recharge your body with these sleeping tips:

  • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday
  • Adopt a bedtime wind-down routine (reading, warm baths, etc.)
  • Avoid using screens in bed and before bedtime
  • Keep your bedroom dark and slightly cool
  • Wear comfortable pajamas or loungewear at night
  • Limit caffeine during the daytime
  • Take naps (even short ones) during the day when needed

#3 Ask for a Helping Hand

Does cooking dinner feel like running a marathon? When extremely tired, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If your mom volunteers to stock your freezer with weekday meals, let her. If your partner offers to take over some of your chores, accept their help. Soon enough, you'll be back to your normal speed and can reclaim your responsibilities. But for now, give yourself permission to let others lend a helping hand.

#4 Adopt an Energy-Boosting Diet

One serving of kale won’t fix everything—but a nutrient-loaded diet with plenty of hydration just might.

On your tiredest days, it may be tempting to live on coffee and pop tarts. However, caffeine and processed foods can leave your energy levels crashing within hours. Instead, fill your body’s fuel tank with these energy-boosting dietary tips:

  • Graze on small meals and snacks to reduce digestion lethargy and nausea
  • Choose unprocessed foods over processed foods
  • Hydrate with at least 8 cups of water per day
  • Avoid excessive caffeine intake
  • Eat a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats

#5 Give Yourself Time Off

Sometimes, a small break can make a massive difference. During your first trimester, consider scheduling a short getaway or stay-cation with your partner, or even just call in sick!

Ultimately, listening to your body is the most important part of this whole process—if it's telling you it needs some downtime, listen.

Monica + Andy—Supporting Your Pregnancy with Every Step

As moms know, pregnancy is an exciting and joyous time—but it also can be draining. If you’re struggling with low energy, just know that you’re not alone. With the help of loved ones and health professionals, you can feel your best during this incredible life transition.

And if you need more comfort along the way, Monica + Andy is here to lend a helping hand—or a perfectly body-hugging robe.

Support your growing body in our organic cotton Mom Loungewear, or answer all of your burning questions with our pregnancy blog. Once your little one arrives, we’re here to swaddle them in plenty of adorable GOTS-certified organic cotton clothes of their own.

From your first trimester to your baby’s first day of school, we’re here to make your parenting journey easier.


  1. March of Dimes. Common discomforts of pregnancy.
  2. NICHD - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. What are some common signs of pregnancy?
  3. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. Factors associated with insomnia in pregnancy: A prospective Cohort Study.
  4. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. Factors associated with insomnia in pregnancy: A prospective Cohort Study.
  5. NICHD - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. What are some common signs of pregnancy?