Fainting And Dizziness During Pregnancy

4 min read

Written by Pradeep


Fainting in pregnancy
If you are a cine-buff, you’d know the first sign of pregnancy is usually a woman fainting amidst some function while the beau and the others rush to help her and whoa! The pregnancy announcement is made! Yes, it is common to feel lightheaded or dizzy during pregnancy, and sometimes mommies-to-be can feel like they are about to faint (which sometimes they do!). This is a fairly common symptom, and some simple steps can help you deal with this pregnancy condition (like so many others) fairly easily.

What Causes Fainting And Dizziness In Pregnancy?

Some common pointer for ‘I am just about to faint feeling’:

  • Pregnancy hormones: Pregnancy hormones make your cardiovascular system go through some major upheavals, for now it is meeting the needs of two instead of one body. The heart rate goes up, the blood amount increases, and the dear heart works harder in pumping more blood per second
  • Lying on your back: Lightheadedness is largely attributed to the fact that the heart is not producing enough blood to meet the needs. Moreover, the growing uterus also exerts some pressure on the blood vessels, the vena cava particularly, especially when you lie on your back
  • Low blood pressure: Plus, the pregnancy hormone progesterone can relax your blood vessels, so as to increase the blood supply to the developing fetus, but decreasing it to you, thus making your blood pressure come down. This can cause some cut on the blood flow to the brain, thus making your head spin and leaving you dizzy
  • Low blood sugar: The drop in blood sugar levels or dehydration can also make you feel like the world is going round and round.
  • Overheating: Now that you are pregnant, your body would be producing quite a good amount of heat, so avoid sitting for long hours in a stuffy room, with little or no ventilation
  • Anemia: Iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy can make fewer blood cells available to carry blood to your brain especially during the second and the third trimesters. Your doctor could prescribe an iron supplement and an iron rich diet for this
  • Going hungry: If you go long intervals between food and drinks, your blood sugar levels can get lower and you could feel dizzy and faint. Keep up with your body needs by eating small meals at frequent intervals and keep yourself well-hydrated
  • Vasovagal syncope: This condition can make your blood pressure to fall when you cough, pee or have a bowel movement. Dehydration can make the matters worse
  • Hyperventilation: If you are a great fan of exercising, you should take care not to overdo it. Straining yourself and over exercising can cause you to hyperventilate and feel like you are fainting. Anxiety can also have the same effect. Read when not to exercise in pregnancy
  • Not dressing right: Lastly, if you are a fan of tight clothes, you may need to loosen up a bit!

Dizziness in pregnancy

How Can I Prevent Dizziness Now That I Am Pregnant?

If at any point you feel dizzy during your pregnancy, you should lie down, firstly and fore mostly. Lying down on your side will not press vena cava, and hence the blood supply to your brain and body would increase. This will help in keeping you from fainting. If you cannot lie down, atleast sit down, holding something. This will prevent any risk of injury that can happen if you fall down.

  • Avoid standing for long durations makes the blood pool in your feet and legs. When you continue to stand for longer periods, the blood supply to your brain and heart could become low making you feel dizzy. If you have too, keep moving your feet so that the blood circulation is not impacted
  • Do not stand too fast either, for the same reason. Your body may not be able to adjust so quickly and not pump enough blood to the heart and the brain. If you are lying down, take some time to sit and then stand up slowly
  • Make sure you are eating enough healthy food at frequent intervals to avoid your blood sugar levels from dropping. Snacking throughout the day will be beneficial
  • Have enough fluids, at least 8 glasses of water (no caffeine and aerated drinks though). Keeping yourself well hydrated will ensure that dehydration does not bother you. If the weather is hot or you are exercising, fill up more
  • Dress yourself in layers so that you can take them off of you feel overheated. Avoid overcrowded places and stuffy rooms
  • Get some air regularly. Take a small walk outside every few hours which will also help to relieve pregnancy constipation and edema

What Should I Do If I Feel Faint During Pregnancy?

  • If you feel dizzy and faint at any point during your pregnancy, you should:
  • Sit or lie down. If possible, try placing your head between your knees
  • Take long and deep breaths, making oxygen reach your internal body parts
  • Loose tight fitting clothes, scarves, and hats
  • Open windows and let some air flow in
  • Eat an iron rich diet

When Should I Call My Doctor?

If you feel dizzy and also notice vaginal bleeding and/or pain in your abdomen, you must call your doctor immediately. These symptoms could be indicative of an ectopic pregnancy or placental abruption, both of which require immediate medical attention.


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