Third Trimester Fatigue: 7 Tips to Handle It

By Kara Reynolds | Aug 4, 2021

If you’re entering your third trimester soon or you’re already in your third trimester, you may be familiar with the concept — or even the feeling — of third trimester fatigue. While fatigue is common all throughout pregnancy, many expectant mothers find that the third trimester can bear the brunt of the fatigue. Whether this sounds like you already or you simply want to be prepared, it can help you in the long run to know some tips and tricks for managing this specific fatigue as best as you possibly can.

Third trimester fatigue can come from a variety of causes, from the hormonal changes that can occur towards the end of pregnancy to the physical toll that carrying a larger fetus can take on your body. No matter why you’re experiencing fatigue in your third trimester, there are a few ways you can manage it and still have time for the pre-baby prep you have to do. Here are some tips to handle fatigue in the third trimester.

1. Take Catnaps

One of the best ways to manage fatigue is simply not to fight it. Of course, you may want to be up and about throughout your day, especially if you’re trying to savor the time before the baby comes. However, you also need to honor your body’s functions and allow yourself the rest you need. Laying down for a little cat nap when you feel tired is a great way to reset and refresh.

2. Go to Bed Early

Similar to the technique of taking catnaps when you feel tired, another way to honor your body and your needs is to schedule in extra time for sleep every night. If you’re feeling extra tired, going to sleep a bit early can help you catch up on the rest you need. It’s always important to practice good sleep hygiene, but especially when you’re going through as many changes as pregnancy often brings.

3. Exercise or Practice Movement

While pregnancy can bring some challenges with movement, it’s also important when possible to incorporate movement and exercise however feels comfortable for you. Exercise releases endorphins which can improve your mood and your energy levels, which can make it much easier to fight fatigue.

4. Stay Hydrated

Especially when you’re pregnant, it’s important to effectively nourish your body, and while that includes food, it also includes water. Staying hydrated can keep you energized and stop exhaustion that can come from dehydration. Especially if you’re pregnant during the summer, keep a gallon-sized water bottle on hand to stay hydrated.

5. Don’t Take On too Much

While this can stand true even when you aren’t pregnant or in your third trimester, it’s still one of the primary factors to think about when you notice more fatigue than usual in your life. With the baby coming sooner than ever, you may feel tempted to rush into projects and take on a robust social calendar. Remember, stress isn’t good for you, and it certainly isn’t good for the baby. Taking on more than you can handle will leave you feeling tired, and that doesn’t aid in relieving fatigue. Listen to yourself and let yourself rest. 

6. Keep a Dream Journal

Everyone has different experiences with pregnancy dreams. While some people dream as normally, others dream more infrequently or have wild adventures. Regardless, keeping a dream journal can actually help you sleep better and reduce stress, both of which can improve your fatigue. Plus, it’s a great mental exercise for those who want a bit of reflection. 

7. Know When to Call a Doctor

While you know your body best, it’s also important to know when you need to talk to a medical professional. Sure, a certain amount of fatigue is normal in the third trimester, but make sure you call a doctor if you’re experiencing heart palpitations, dizziness, fainting, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, severe headaches or vision problems. While some of these may be third trimester changes for you as well, it’s much better to be safe than sorry. 

Managing Third Trimester Fatigue

Pregnancy is different for every person, because every baby and every body is different. No matter how your pregnancy fatigue manifests, there are ways to make your experience a little better so you can fully thrive in your last trimester. From taking small catnaps to staying hydrated and practicing regular movement, you can handle your third trimester however works best for you. Remember, if symptoms worsen, you may want to talk with your doctor so you can be safe, but you know your body best. The most important thing is that you prioritize your health and your baby’s health.

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