Exhausted all the time

I'm now ten weeks pregnant and whilst I know you can feel tired in the first trimester, is this complete and utter exhaustion normal? And if so, what can you do to counter it?

I've spoken to the midwife and I'm also severly anaemic for which I'm now taking three iron tablets a day. I'm also clinically depressed, and I'm not sure if the exhaustion is pregnancy, anaemia or depression... or, more probably, a mixture of all three.

At the moment, thankfully, I'm not working but I'm finding it hard to even function. Has anyone else felt like this, and if so, again, any suggestions in to what to do to minimise the impacts of this on my life?? Thank fully I dont have any other children at the moment either, so its mainly my cats that are feeling the impact (more fuss as I'm sitting down so much!). Please... any suggestions would be really really appreciated!


13 Replies

Hi Vicky,

Sorry to hear you're struggling. I can't comment on the effects of anaemia or depression but can confirm that even in a pregnancy affected by neither, staggering, bone-crushing exhaustion is normal! I used to creep off to the loo at work for a 5 minute doze during my first pregnancy, and looking after a toddler this time around was near impossible (he was definitely allowed to watch more TV than usual during the first trimester!)

Good news is that pregnancy fatigue generally eases off as you near your second trimester so hopefully you'll have a bit more energy soon. In the meantime just listen to your body - dont begrudge yourself naps when you want them, eat as healthily as you can and drink lots. And I'm sure the cats will forgive you ;-)

I'm sure some of the other ladies on the site will be able to advise you better regarding the anaemia and depression, hope I helped a bit though.

Enjoy your pregnancy :-) x

Yep sounds normal the fact that ur iron is low as well Prob isn't helping. .. and ur hormones are all over the place as well so Prob not helping with the depression have u spoken to ur g.p about it? I'd say the first 12 weeks I felt physical ill!

My first trimester fatigue was horrendous, I'd come in from work, sleep in the sofa til bed time then go to bed. Given I was told I was infertile, I'd convinced myself I had cancer, it was that bad (after checking mt thyroid function!)

It does pass though...

Hi catvicky,

As you are still during the 1st trimester of pregnancy I think its best to give your body a bit more time. Pregnancy can "at the best of times" but our bodies through some tough physical & emotional tests to the point of making us feel like a "rag doll"

I think I remember feeling "slightly" better with this pregnancy ( apart from the nausea) as im due to have my 2nd child, but during my 1st pregnancy I remember feeling extremely exhausted most of the time to the point of fainting whilst at work. I probably didnt start to feel "physically" better until about wk 18-19 of pregnancy

Hopefully as time goes on you'll start to feel better at around 14wks of pregnancy, but every woman is different & you may start to feel better before or after that. Even with this pregnancy I can honestly say I get good days & bad days.


I felt terrible with sickness and tiredness during the first trimester and didn't feel better till 16 weeks. obviously ur iron count being low will not be helping. I got so frustrated with how I felt as I just wanted to get on and do stuff and I got quite fed up tht I cudnt. Have u spoke to ur midwife or ur gp about how u can manage ur depression during ur pregnancy? but feeling crap and tired is very common and u think is it gona end, I used to sit on my bed and cry for pointless things like I cudnt eat my dinner or I felt ill, but it will pass. Pregnancy is one big rollercoaster and thankfully I am nearly at the end of my ride as am majorly uncomfy now. do u have a partner u can talk too or is supportive, or any close friends or family nearby? x

sounds normal to me. 10-14 weeks i was exhausted. i would get home form work and go straight to bed for a hour before my husband got home, he'd cook dinner, wake me up, i'd eat then go straight back to bed. it will pass. just sleep when you can :-)

Thanks guys.

I have spoken to my GP before about the Depression as I had a breakdown last April, which is why I dont work at the moment - I lost my job in March this year after a year of the Depression. I do take meds and my family and husband are all very supportive. At the moment its a bit difficult though, as because I no longer work, my husband is responsible for the mortgage and everything else financial, which means hes mad busy doing overtime and every hour he can to make sure we can cover the mortgage. Also we are in the process of trying to sell the house so we can move to one we can afford on his salary alone..... not great timing I admit! *wry smile*

So I'm alone a lot of the time in the house, which doesnt help with the Depression.... add into the tiredness and morning sickness... and you get a not great time. I'm also HUGE which doesnt help... I swear I look about 5 months pregnant already, which is worrying! But all in all.... I just would like to be able to stay awake the day and be active. My mums pregnancies werent like this, and my sister in law was fine too.... so its nice to hear that other people have felt the same way and that I'm not completely odd!


U need to try and keep ur mind busy. .. try and start looking at maternity clothes. . Write List for the baby what ur need. .. Start looking at prams.. cots... moses baskets... check out the different websites so u know which ones do the best deals so when ur ready to buy u armed full of info and know where to look just things to keep u busy and u can do from the comfort of ur own home. ... and when u feel better u can venture out and have a look at the things life the different prams u have researched. .. it took me 3-4 weeks to decide on a pram add I kept seeing different ones and I couldn't decide.... just thinking of things to keep u occupied it can get lonely being on ur own all day x

I have never suffered with depression myself but my boyfriend of 6 yrs and father to my unborn baby suffered with it majorly before we were together and was in and out of hospital as he was a very ill man, I cant say I kno how u feel but I can imagine with everything goin on must be stressful. I moved 9 weeks ago into a house we bought when I was 30 weeks and no not perfect timing and I wont b doin it in a hurry again as it was incredibly stressful. Dont compare ur pregnancy to anyones as I can guarantee tht u will struggle to find someone who has a similar one even if they r ur family. The tiredness usually stops around 16ish weeks but then will come bk for 3rd trimester...I am nearly 39 weeks and am napping every day. Take it easy x

You poor thing, sounds like you're coping with a lot. I have to agree that bone-crushing, all-consuming exhaustion is completely normal. I felt absolutely terrible until about 14 weeks - slept about 12 hours a night, plus naps in the afternoons. That said, do take care and keep talking to your GP, if that's helpful. I know how awful depression can be, and how it can creep up on you. It must be hard to manage in pregnancy, because you feel so awful anyway, and your emotions will be all over the place because of your hormones.

As for being huge, don't panic. I was enormous at the start, but it was mostly bloating, which settled down after a while. X

And don't be too hard on urself x

Hopefully they will regulate your anaemia soon. As for depression and exhaustion they are quite common in pregnancy. It might be useful to ask your GP or midwife to also check your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause depression. Have you notified them about your depression? In addition to pharmacotherapy they can also provide counselling which is extremely useful. Evidence from clinical trials has proven that the combination of drugs and psychotherapy brings the best results.

The only extra advice I have for you for combatting the exhaustion and depression is 1) light exercise like pregnancy friendly yoga which can increase your endorphin (happy hormone) levels and 2) to get out of the house and meet friends or NCT members in your area. Best of luck xx

Just to add, comparing your pregnancy with other people's will drive you mad! There's always someone who has sailed through without a single symptom, which is fantastic for them, but not so helpful if they don't understand that you feel absolutely awful!

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