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Is resting all day good for pregnancy?

Pregnancy can be an exciting but also challenging time. As your body goes through many changes to support the growing baby, you may find yourself feeling more tired than usual. Some women wonder if resting all day during pregnancy is recommended or healthy. Here is a look at the potential benefits and drawbacks of getting extra rest when you’re expecting.

Is It Normal to Feel Very Tired During Pregnancy?

Feeling extremely fatigued and needing more sleep is very common in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy. There are a few key reasons for this:

  • Hormone changes – Your body produces more progesterone during pregnancy, which can make you feel sleepy. Rising levels of prolactin in early pregnancy also cause fatigue.
  • Physical demands – Your heart is working harder to pump more blood to supply nutrition to the baby. This extra workload can drain your energy.
  • Discomforts – Common pregnancy discomforts like back and joint aches, leg cramps, nausea, and frequent urination can disrupt sleep and rest.
  • Anemia – Many pregnant women can become anemic due to increased blood volume. Low iron levels may leave you feeling wiped out.
  • Stress and emotions – The physical and emotional demands of pregnancy can be taxing. Anxiety about labor and delivery or other changes may also drain energy.

So if you are feeling like you need a lot more sleep and rest than usual, you’re definitely not alone! Your body is working overtime during pregnancy. It’s very common to feel extremely tired, especially in the early and late stages.

How Much Rest and Sleep Do Pregnant Women Need?

Most healthcare providers recommend getting at least 8-9 hours of sleep per night during pregnancy. Some women may need 10-12 hours of sleep to feel well-rested. Naps during the day can also be very beneficial.

In addition to extra sleep at night, it’s also important to put your feet up and rest as much as possible during the day. Take breaks from work and chores. Sit down whenever possible instead of standing. Listen to your body’s cues for when you need more rest.

Some doctors may advise limiting bed rest to specific situations like:

  • Being diagnosed with preeclampsia or high blood pressure
  • Dealing with bleeding or cramping
  • Having a high-risk pregnancy due to health issues
  • Being pregnant with multiples like twins

As a general rule of thumb, most healthy pregnant women are advised to rest and sleep as much as their body seems to need. Don’t feel guilty about getting those extra naps and taking it easy!

Potential Benefits of Resting More During Pregnancy

Getting additional sleep and rest comes with some advantages when you’re expecting, including:

  • Increases energy – Rest recharges your battery so you have more energy for the rest of the day’s activities.
  • Eases physical discomforts – More rest minimizes time on your feet which can reduce backaches, swelling, leg cramps and other common pains.
  • Reduces stress – Rest relaxes the body and mind, lowering anxiety and blood pressure.
  • Improves mood – Hormone changes can contribute to mood swings. Adequate rest benefits mood regulation.
  • Allows nutrients to redirect – Your body can redirect more nutrients to the baby when you’re resting.
  • Prepares for labor – Extra rest now allows you to conserve energy for the hard work of labor and delivery.
  • Healthy fetal development – The baby benefits from mom getting sufficient sleep and rest.

Overall, the extra rest that your body craves during pregnancy does have benefits for both you and your baby. It allows your body to direct more energy towards the pregnancy.

Possible Drawbacks of Too Much Rest

Is it possible to get too much rest when you’re pregnant? In most cases, your body will dictate how much sleep and down time feels right. But there are a few potential disadvantages of resting excessively including:

  • Soreness – Laying in bed most of the day can lead to stiffness and joint pain.
  • Weakness – Your muscles won’t get used and can start to weaken and lose tone with extreme rest.
  • Blood clots – Inactivity increases the risk of developing dangerous blood clots in the legs.
  • Depression – Too much isolation and inactivity can contribute to depression.
  • Weight gain – You burn fewer calories when inactive all day.
  • Gestational diabetes – Excessive rest raises the risk of developing this pregnancy-related diabetes.
  • Harder labor – Lack of activity can lead to weaker muscles and slower recovery from birth.

Most healthcare providers recommend some light exercise, like walking, along with lots of rest. Finding this balance can help minimize any risks. You’ll get the benefits of adequate rest without the potential problems linked to being completely inactive.

Creating a Good Routine for Rest and Relaxation

To help your days include the right amount of rest during pregnancy:

  • Go to bed earlier to get 8-10 hours of sleep each night
  • Take short 10-30 minute power naps when needed
  • Schedule periods of relaxation like reading or meditating
  • Sit down whenever possible to take weight off your feet
  • Ask for help with household tasks like cleaning, errands, and childcare
  • Spend 30-60 minutes walking or swimming to avoid excessive inactivity

Make sure your partner, family, friends and co-workers understand your needs. Don’t push yourself to do activities that leave you feeling exhausted. Listen to your body’s signals about when to slow down and rest. Staying in tune with your own energy levels will help guide you.

Resting More in the Early and Late Stages of Pregnancy

Many women find they need to rest the most during the first trimester and again in the third trimester:

  • First trimester rest – Fatigue and nausea are common early on. Take naps and go to bed earlier as your body adjusts to the pregnancy. The first 12 weeks are crucial time for the baby’s development, so rest is important.
  • Third trimester rest – Discomforts like back pain and swelling increase. Your growing belly makes rest more challenging, but it is still important. Give yourself permission to take it much easier as your due date approaches.

While every pregnancy is unique, most women tend to feel more tired and benefit from more rest during these early and late stages. Listen to what your body needs. Don’t hesitate to put your feet up whenever possible.

Tips for Resting More Comfortably

Here are some tips to help you rest as comfortably as possible during pregnancy:

  • Use pillows to support your back, belly, knees, and ankles
  • Try a pregnancy body pillow for comfort
  • Elevate your feet to reduce swelling
  • Choose loose, stretchy clothing
  • Take short, frequent walks to stretch your muscles
  • Do gentle prenatal yoga and stretching
  • Drink plenty of water and eat small, frequent meals
  • Listen to calming music or guided meditations
  • Massage any achy or tense areas
  • Soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts

Experiment to find the most relaxing positions for sitting and sleeping. Invest in support cushions or pillows if needed. Stay hydrated, nourished and as comfortable as possible as your body gets the extra rest it requires.

When to Check with Your Doctor

While most pregnant women simply need to listen to their body’s cues for when to rest more, check with your doctor if:

  • You feel depressed, hopeless or overwhelmed by fatigue
  • You have severe shortness of breath, dizziness or heart palpitations
  • You have extreme swelling in your hands and face
  • Headaches or abdominal pain accompany your fatigue
  • You have symptoms of anemia like very pale skin or lips
  • Bright red bleeding occurs along with fatigue and weakness
  • You have a fever over 100.4 F (38 C)
  • You feel too weak or fatigued to function normally

While some fatigue is normal during pregnancy, consult your doctor if it interferes with your daily life. Sudden or severe fatigue along with other symptoms may indicate an underlying problem needing treatment.

Creating a Supportive Environment for Rest

Making your home environment as restful and relaxing as possible can also help support your need for extra rest during pregnancy. Consider these tips:

  • Keep the bedroom cool, dark and quiet
  • Use relaxing essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus
  • Play soothing nature sounds or music
  • Limit exposure to bright screens before bedtime
  • Ask family to help limit noise and disturbances
  • Clear clutter that causes stress and disturbances
  • Invest in comfortable chairs, pillows and bedding
  • Have healthy snacks on hand near resting areas
  • Make sure your mattress provides enough support

Optimizing your rest environment can help your body get the deep, uninterrupted rest that it craves. This supports the increased sleep needs associated with pregnancy.


Feeling completely drained of energy during pregnancy is very common. Your body is working in overdrive and needs extra rest to support the baby’s development.

Getting adequate sleep, taking frequent naps, putting your feet up and sitting more throughout the day are generally recommended during pregnancy. This allows your body to direct its energy toward your baby.

While too much inactivity can lead to potential problems, most women simply need to listen to their body’s cues for when to slow down and rest. Balance rest with some light walking and stretching for the best results.

Support your need for extra rest by optimizing your sleep environment and getting help from loved ones. Be sure to consult your doctor if extreme fatigue interferes with your daily functioning. With proper rest, you can give your body the break it needs during this demanding and amazing time.