Dizziness During Pregnancy
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Have you found that you are experiencing dizzy spells or blackouts since you have become pregnant? Dizziness is common during pregnancy, and although actual fainting is rare, women often feel like they come close to it when they experience a spell of dizziness, especially if their vision is affected at the same time.
Why am I feeling dizziness during pregnancy?
Dizziness is a very common symptom of pregnancy. In fact, some women say that this is the symptom that alerted them to being pregnant in the first place. If you do experience it in the early stages of pregnancy then the likely cause is the speed at which your circulatory system is expanding, as your blood supply may not be able to keep up. During your second and third trimesters the cause of dizziness is more likely to be the uterus putting pressure on your blood vessels as it grows.
During all stages of pregnancy, your hormones cause your blood vessels to relax and dilate, this is to enable a greater flow of blood to your baby. Unfortunately for you, it also means that the return of blood to you is slower, your blood pressure is lower and the flow of blood to your brain is reduced, giving you that giddy feeling.
This problem is usually exacerbated when you stand up too quickly. If you had low blood pressure prior to your pregnancy then you will already be used to this, but you may find that it is worse now you're pregnant than it was before. Remind yourself to take it easy and to get up carefully.
Blood sugar will also affect your light-headedness, so you may notice that you experience more dizziness when you are hungry.
Other factors that can cause dizziness include dehydration and overheating. Both of which are dangerous for other reasons so avoid letting yourself become dehydrated or overheated.
Should I be worried?
No. There is no danger to either you or your baby. Feeling dizzy during pregnancy is normal and, to some extent, hard to avoid. Your midwife will want to know about any dizziness though. This is so that they can keep an eye on your blood pressure, so do make sure that you let them know when you attend your routine appointments. It is unlikely that you will actually faint, but obviously if this does happen then you should call your doctor or midwife straight away to let them know, particularly if you think you have fallen against your abdomen.
What can I do about it?
There is little that you can do about either your blood pressure or your relaxed circulatory system. However, you can limit the impact of dizziness by taking extra care when getting up from a sitting position, and generally you should take things more slowly than you usually do. Make sure that you are drinking at least 8 glasses of fluid a day (more if you are in a hot environment) and ensure that you have regular meals and snacks (healthy ones where possible) throughout the day to maintain your blood sugar levels.
When you do experience a dizzy spell, stop what you are doing and lie down on your left side if possible. Alternatively you can sit, or crouch with your head between your knees. Concentrate on taking steady and deep breaths and make sure that your clothing isn't too tight. When you are able to, get up and get yourself a light snack and a drink. Generally these spells clear very quickly, but do make sure that you mention them to your midwife at your next appointment.