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I’m so exhausted I can barely string two sentences together. How can I make it through the day?

Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Have you talked with your doctor or midwife about your iron levels? During my third pregnancy, I had to stop taking my prenatal vitamins because their extra niacin was giving me migraine headaches. But then I got weak and felt tired all of the time. My doctor checked my blood hemoglobin levels for anemia with a fingerpick in the office. It was low, and so he followed up with more tests. No doubt, I had iron-deficiency anemia. I started to take extra iron and felt much better. (Talk with your doctor or midwife before taking any vitamins.)   

Patricia S. Brown, MD, a mom of two daughters, ages nine and seven, and a three-year-old son and a psychiatrist at Columbia-New York Child and Adolescent Telepsychiatry and in private practice in Cresskill, NJ    


Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply:  

If you’re tired, you’re in good company. The fatigue you feel now in your pregnancy is probably quite different than the fatigue you felt early on. Tiredness now is probably due to not sleeping well at night and from carting around more weight than you’re accustomed to. Fortunately, there are ways to fight fatigue and feel more like yourself again.    

I was in my residency during my third pregnancy. Standing on my feet was simply too exhausting, so I made great use of the rolling stools in our practice. I sat on one every chance I got.    

I’d even roll it down the hall instead of walking. Sometimes I’d ask other people to push me! Don’t walk if you can stand, don’t stand if you can sit, don’t sit if you can  lie down, and sleep whenever you can.    

Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, MSEH, a mom of three sons, family physician, and coauthor of The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth  



When to call your doctor or midwife:  If your fatigue is so overwhelming that you can’t focus on your work or are a hazard while driving, contact your doctor or midwife right away.   


The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.