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Why You Could Be Feeling Dizzy While Pregnant


It's not uncommon to experience episodes of dizziness and fainting while pregnant, especially in your first and second trimesters. While there are many different reasons, if you are dizzy while pregnant you may have stood up too quickly or stood for a long period of time.

What Causes Fainting While Pregnant?

In the first 16 to 20 weeks of your pregnancy, your diastolic blood pressure can often drop, making you dizzy. This number is your bottom number (the “100” in “70 over 100,” for example) and the lower it is, the more likely you will experience fainting while pregnant.

Pregnancy changes your body and one of those changes is the fact that you produce more blood and your blood vessels become more elastic. A combination of these two things means blood can pool more often in your legs and feet, obviously further away from your brain. This is why you are dizzy while pregnant, too.

If you have lower iron levels than normal this can cause not only weakness but dizziness. This correlation is because a lack of iron means a lack of oxygen since that's the storage process.

If you are in your third trimester, you may become dizzy when you lay on your back. The sheer weight of your growing belly, and the baby, put too much pressure on the vena cava, one of the largest blood vessels in your body.

What to Do If You Are Dizzy While Pregnant

  1. Don't stand for too long. If your job requires you to stand for long periods, take breaks and have a seat whenever possible.
  2. Take your time when going from lying down to sitting up or from sitting down to standing up. Fainting while pregnant is dangerous so avoid situations that would cause you to be dizzy.
  3. If you are dizzy and pregnant, think fast. Sit down and place your head between your knees. You can also lay on your side and take deep soothing breaths.
  4. Avoid sugar. In order to maintain a workable energy level eat small, healthy snacks as often as possible. For example, a handful of almonds or a piece of fruit is much better than a sugary candy bar or pop tart.
  5. While a hot bath may be your comfort zone, go for a warm bath instead. Most doctors recommend keeping baths to 100 degrees F and lower.

For a lot of women, dizzy and pregnant are synonymous. Some even knew they were pregnant when they fainted. It's not just an old wives’ tale but a reality that should be taken seriously. If you experience headaches and shortness of breath in addition to dizziness and fainting, see your doctor right away.

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