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Feeling lightheaded, dizzy and faint at times during the day is a normal occurrence during pregnancy. As the body undergoes changes to accommodate a baby, the variation in blood pressure, sugar levels and hormones causes you to feel dizzy every now and then.
Pregnancy And Dizziness
Feeling faint and nauseous can begin as early as two weeks after conception or start after two months. Dizziness, accompanied by morning sickness, and nausea at other times during the day can be an indicator of pregnancy. The body’s physiological changes can cause women to get disoriented and feel a sense of vertigo that makes expectant women feel like they’re about to fall or faint at times. The cause for dizziness during early pregnancy depends on how far along the mother is, and it ranges from feeling light headed to fainting.
Is It Normal To Feel Dizzy During Pregnancy?
Yes, it is absolutely normal. Dizziness affects nearly 75% of pregnant women in varying degrees. It is a common feature during the first trimester but can continue throughout the pregnancy in some women.
The cause for dizziness varies throughout pregnancy depending on the stage of pregnancy.
- Dizziness during early pregnancy is caused due to the high levels of hormones in the body as it prepares to increase blood supply to the expanding circulatory system. The hormone progesterone dilates the blood vessels which causes the blood pressure to drop and make you feel dizzy. Dizziness is also made worse if you have anemia, nausea, frequent vomiting and dehydration
- As the pregnancy progresses, there are more fluids in your system (including blood) to nourish the developing baby. This can cause an increase in the blood pressure which leads to dizziness and headaches.
- In the third trimester, actions such as prolonged sitting or lying down cause the weight of the baby to put pressure on a large vein in the right-hand side of the body called the inferior vena cava. This vein transports blood from the lower limbs and a pressure on it restricts the blood flow making you dizzy.
- External temperature and overheating can add to the problems as presence of the baby increases the normal body temperature by one degree.
- Dizziness can be due to uneven blood sugar levels caused by conditions such as gestational diabetes. On rare occasions, dizziness might be a sign of a more serious problem such as bleeding from the placenta or an ectopic pregnancy.
Things To Do When You Suddenly Feel Dizzy
You can do the following when you feel dizzy:
- When you feel dizzy, sit down to avoid a fall. If you can, sit with your head between your knees. Also, sit down or get up slowly; sudden movements worsen dizziness.
- If you have a chance to lie down, do so on your left side. This increases the blood supply to your brain and makes you feel better.
- Dizziness can also be due to low blood sugar if you have gone a while without eating. Get a quick healthy snack and top it off with some water or fresh fruit juice to boost your energy levels.
- Waves of dizziness can often happen to many women during pregnancy. The best thing to do would be to stop what you are doing, sit or lie down and wait for it to pass.
Remedies To Alleviate Dizziness
To reduce dizziness during pregnancy:
- Avoid quick movements like getting up too fast or springing up out of the bed.
- Do not lie on your back for too long. Change positions often and try to lie more on your left side.
- Eat regularly and stay hydrated. Substitute sugar-rich foods with healthy snacks.
- Avoid overheating that happens when you take a hot water bath or spend time in crowded places.
- Go easy on workouts. Stressing yourself can cause you to overheat or hyperventilate which can both lead to dizziness.
Is Feeling Dizzy Harmful For Your Pregnancy?
Dizziness is not harmful on its own. Light headedness which can lead to fainting can be dangerous as there is a chance you might fall and injure yourself. Follow the above-mentioned procedures when feeling dizzy.
When To Get The Help From Your Doctor?
Dizziness, once in a while, from heat or movement or hunger is normal in pregnancy. However, if it is frequent and coupled with symptoms such as severe headaches, blurred vision, palpitations, impaired speech, numbness, chest pain, shortness of breath, tingling and vaginal bleeding, immediate medical help should be sought. In early pregnancy if dizziness is followed by abdominal pain and a racing pulse, it could be an indication of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. It is a medical emergency and should be dealt with immediately.
Conclusion: Learning to recognise your symptoms early on and taking precautionary measures can help reduce your dizziness. If that does not work, it is time to call your doctor and get it checked.