Dizziness and Fainting During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a time of great joy and anticipation, but it can also be a period of stress and difficulty. One of the more concerning but thankfully rare conditions faced by pregnant women is fainting. Fainting during pregnancy is especially common during the third trimester. Although it is not necessarily a cause for alarm, it is important to understand the causes and implications of fainting during pregnancy. In this blog post, we will discuss the potential causes and risks associated with fainting during pregnancy third trimester, as well as tips for managing it and when to seek medical attention. Understanding why and when fainting may occur can help pregnant women be better prepared to handle it should it arise.

When does dizziness generally start during pregnancy?

Between week 12 and the first few weeks of the second trimester of pregnancy, many women begin to feel lightheaded.

When does dizziness during pregnancy usually end?

Dizzy spells can frequently persist for the remainder of your pregnancy once they start. But they should subside after your baby is born.

Changing hormones and lowering blood pressure

Your hormone levels change as soon as you become pregnant to help your body’s blood flow increase. This helps the baby develop in utero.

Increased blood flow can cause your blood pressure to change. Pregnancy is characterized by frequent drops in blood pressure, also referred to as hypotension or low blood pressure.

You may experience lightheadedness if your blood pressure is low, especially when standing up from a sitting or lying down position.

At your prenatal appointments, your doctor will take your blood pressure to track your blood pressure. Lower blood pressure is typically nothing to worry about and will return to normal levels after delivery.

Hyperemesis gravidarum, or extreme morning sickness during pregnancy, can make you feel dizzy. Early in pregnancy, this frequently happens as a result of your changing hormone levels.

If you have this condition, you might find it difficult to swallow food or water, which could cause you to feel faint and lose weight.

To treat this condition, your doctor may:

  • recommend a particular diet
  • hospitalize you so you can receive extra fluids and be monitored
  • prescribe a medication
  • It’s possible that this condition will go away during your second trimester or that you will continue to experience symptoms throughout your pregnancy.

    Dizziness can result from an ectopic pregnancy. This happens when a fertilized egg implants itself outside of the uterus in your reproductive system. Many times, it implants in your fallopian tubes.

    When this condition occurs, the pregnancy isn’t viable. You could also experience abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, and dizziness. To remove the fertilized egg, your doctor will need to perform a procedure or write a prescription for medicine.

    Low blood pressure or hyperemesis gravidarum are two factors that may contribute to your dizziness in the first trimester and continue into the second. As your pregnancy develops, additional conditions could appear.

    If your blood vessels are being compressed by the pressure of your expanding uterus, you might feel lightheaded. This can happen in the second or third trimester, and it tends to happen more frequently with large babies.

    Lying on your back can also cause dizziness. This is due to the possibility that lying on your back later on in pregnancy could result in your uterus growing and obstructing blood flow from your lower extremities to your heart. This can cause dizziness as well as other concerning symptoms.

    To avoid this blockage, try to rest and sleep on your side.

    If your blood sugar drops too low while you have gestational diabetes, you might feel lightheaded. When hormones interfere with how your body makes insulin, gestational diabetes results.

    Between weeks 24 and 28 of your pregnancy, your doctor probably advises that you get tested for gestational diabetes. If you are diagnosed, you must regularly check your blood sugar levels and follow a strict diet and exercise regimen.

    Dizziness may be a sign of low blood sugar, along with other symptoms like sweating, shakiness, and headaches. You’ll need to eat a snack like some fruit or a few pieces of hard candy to increase it. After a while, check your blood sugar levels to make sure they are within the normal range.

    Many of the factors that cause dizziness in the first and second trimesters of your pregnancy can also result in the same symptom later on in your pregnancy. In the third trimester, it’s crucial to regularly visit your doctor to monitor any potentially dangerous conditions that could lead to lightheadedness.

    To prevent falling, keep an eye out for any signs of feeling lightheaded, especially in the third trimester. To prevent dizziness, get up slowly, lean on something solid, and sit down as frequently as you can to avoid standing for extended periods of time.

    There are some factors that could make you feel lightheaded at any point in your pregnancy. These conditions aren’t tied to a specific trimester.

    Due to pregnancy, you might have fewer healthy red blood cells than usual, which could result in anemia. This happens when your body doesn’t have enough folic acid and iron.

    Anemia can also make you feel tired, pale, or short of breath in addition to dizziness.

    You may develop anemia at any time during pregnancy. If so, your doctor can perform blood tests to check your iron levels and track the condition throughout your pregnancy. They may recommend iron or folic acid supplements.

    Dehydration can occur at any point in your pregnancy. If you’re feeling queasy or throwing up in the first trimester, you might experience it. Dehydration may occur later in pregnancy because your body needs more water.

    You should drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day in early pregnancy, and increase that amount as you add more calories to your diet, generally in the second and third trimesters. This may increase your water intake by 300 milliliters per day.

    There are several ways to prevent or lessen vertigo while pregnant, including:

  • Limit long periods of standing.
  • Make sure to keep moving when you’re standing to increase circulation.
  • Take your time getting up from sitting or lying down.
  • Avoid lying on your back in the second and third trimester.
  • Eat healthy food frequently to avoid low blood sugar.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  • Wear breathable, comfortable clothing.
  • Take supplements and medications as recommended by your doctor to treat conditions that cause dizziness.
  • You should always inform your OB-GYN of any dizziness you experience while pregnant. so that your physician can take the necessary actions to identify any conditions that may be causing the symptom.

    Seek immediate medical attention if the dizziness is sudden or severe, or if you experience other symptoms in addition to dizziness.

    Concerning symptoms during pregnancy include:

  • vaginal bleeding
  • stomach pain
  • severe swelling
  • heart palpitations
  • chest pain
  • fainting
  • difficulty breathing
  • severe headaches
  • vision problems
  • Dizziness is a typical pregnancy symptom that can be brought on by a variety of different factors. Let your doctor or midwife know if you’re experiencing dizziness. To ensure the health of both you and your unborn child, they can monitor you and conduct any necessary tests.

    Depending on the underlying cause, your healthcare provider can also assist you in finding ways to reduce the symptom. You may be able to lessen episodes of lightheadedness by avoiding prolonged standing or lying on your side, nourishing your body with healthy foods, and drinking plenty of water.

    Join our I’m Expecting newsletter to receive weekly tips specific to your due date and additional pregnancy advice.

    Last medically reviewed on March 7, 2019


    Should I go to the hospital if I faint while pregnant?

    We suggest that women who faint during pregnancy should contact their health-care providers right away, which is probably what most pregnant women are inclined to do. Pregnancy is increasingly being likened to a natural stress test that a woman undergoes.

    What should I do if I almost fainted while pregnant?

    If you feel dizzy:
    1. Sit or lie down. If you sit, put your head between your knees. If you lie down, try to get your feet higher than your head.
    2. Take deep breaths. Breathe out slowly.
    3. Move toward fresh or circulating air.
    4. Loosen tight clothing.
    5. Don’t eat or drink anything while you feel dizzy.

    When should I be worried about dizziness during pregnancy?

    Your body is undergoing numerous changes, and the increase in blood volume creates extra work for your heart. But if your dizziness or lightheadedness worsens or you also have serious symptoms such as blurred vision or shortness of breath, tell your doctor.

    Dizziness and Fainting During Pregnancy: When to Worry | Parents

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