The Fatigue is REAL: When You Run Out Of Energy

At 33 weeks, I am dealing with a serious case of pregnancy insomnia. My Fitbit reports that I slept for 2:45 last night, and I was restless for 4:20. I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.

Pregnant women and new moms deal with fatigue on a grand scale. Our bodies are doing a lot of work, and we are sleep deprived like never before. So, how do you function? Is there anything you can do to manage the exhaustion?

Today, Cary Fortin returns for an honest discussion about energy—and the lack thereof. We address how taxing pregnancy is on the body and the urge to apologize for not being able to do as much. I vent my frustration with a society that preaches the importance of family yet has little reverence for pregnant women, and Cary and I cover the myths around the dismissive term ‘Mommy brain,’ the loss of brain function associated with sleep deprivation, and the discovery that parenthood provides an opportunity to rewire your brain. Listen in to understand the significance of rest and short naps and learn how to approach periods of fatigue with a focus on self-compassion.

The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #085 

Some quotes from the episode


  • “Where is the reverence for pregnant women? Where is the collective admiration for the incredible feat that’s happening here?”
  • “There’s this myth out there that our brains shrink, when it’s really that they consolidate and restructure.”
  • “You do lose brain power and brain functioning when you don’t get enough sleep.”
  • “What if being this tired is what teaches me how to nap?”
  • “Get in bed and watch TV because you’re still resting. Rest your body, if not your brain. Just keep resting.”
  • “These biases of ‘I have to do it all myself. I have to work really hard. I have to do it ALL. It won’t grow unless I’m working at 110%’—those are all potentially limiting beliefs. It’s not easy, but this pregnancy, parenting thing is really forcing me to challenge my own assumptions.”
  • “Maybe the best thing for my business is to nap, not to do more.”


  • “That was the best thing my husband ever said: Anytime I did something, he said I was doing … a duathlon. ‘You’re walking AND growing a baby. You’re hiking AND growing a baby.’ That’s the way to look at it.”
  • “[Parenthood] might be messy, but it is so full of growth and so full of opportunity. How cool to look at it that way, to acknowledge that it is going to be a challenge but that it is rewarding, and it is the one chance you have … to really shift who you are, which is painful and can be ugly—but that’s exciting.”
  • “Make sure you sleep. There’s a reason why sleep deprivation is used in torture. It’s because it’s so effective.”
  • “[Sleep is] the most important thing I do for myself. It is crucial … for me to be the semblance of the person I who want to be. Sleep is the number one ingredient.”
  • “There are just a couple of priorities right now: Bond with my baby. Bond with my partner. Take care of myself. Anything that’s not under those immediate umbrellas are not a priority right now. Not to say that they won’t be eventually, but right now they aren’t.”
  • “Not only do we have this opportunity to question beliefs and to … look inward, our brains are actually going to be changing and could support that. What if you held some of those mantras and some of those ideas really close to heart for the next 12, 16, 20 weeks and that actually shifted something anatomical inside of you?”


Cary Fortin is the co-founder of New Minimalism, a declutter + design service and online platform for people looking to simplify and renew their homes and workspaces, and the co-author of New Minimalism: Decluttering and Design for Sustainable, Intentional Living. An expert in the field of simple living and the psychology of letting go, Cary is also a writer and lifestyle expert whose work has been featured in Mindbodygreen, Yoga Journal and Sunset Magazine, among other publications.



One of the biggest challenges we face in business is developing focus, figuring out how to do less and gaining clarity around what’s really important. I have developed a three-step process that helps me simplify and make decisions about when to say no. Get the free guide at

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